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Managing Director of Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria (StanChart Nigeria) and West Africa, Mr Lamin Manjang, has given fresh insights on the business policy direction of the financial institution in Nigeria as part of drives to refocus the bank after 20 years in Nigeria.
In an interview, he said “We are a commercial bank and that is our core function which we will continue to engage in and do to the best of our capability.
“However, beyond just the core function of banking, it is also to look at sustainability and for us; sustainability is not something we see as separate from our core business. This means that it is integral to our core business. When we do our core business well, we are actually contributing to the overall economic development of the country.
Manjang added that in terms of the pillars of our sustainability agenda, “We have now refreshed it to focus on three areas: education, employability and entrepreneurship. We believe that these three areas are critical in terms of enabling future workforce, especially the youth to be able to contribute meaningfully to the economic development. On education, we believe that once people are educated, they either get employed or go into entrepreneurship.”
According to him, “Standard Chartered bank is currently looking at ways we can support all of these three pillars. Our Women in Tech Programme was recently announced to actually enable women entrepreneurs in the tech space because that is an area where women are not very strong; generally, they are in the entrepreneurship field but when it comes to technology, you find out it is heavily dominated by male [techies].”
“So, we came up with a programme specifically targeted at female entrepreneurs; we take them through an incubation programme in partnership with Pan Atlantic University so that out of the nominations that we likely get, we narrow them down to the top 10. Then those ones will go through the screening process and the five finalists will be selected. We will give them money to accelerate their businesses and then give them the necessary support to take the businesses to the next level. We started it in the US about five years ago; we brought it to Kenya two years ago. I was there at the time we launched it in Kenya and I am very delighted we are able to do it in Nigeria.
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