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Standard Bank’s BCC division is committed to expanding the suite of simple and complex technologies that are making ever more businesses possible in Africa. Picture: 123RF
Standard Bank’s BCC division is committed to expanding the suite of simple and complex technologies that are making ever more businesses possible in Africa. Picture: 123RF

The Standard Bank Business & Commercial Clients (BCC) division is dedicated to leveraging the power of SMMEs and larger businesses to sustain and expand inclusive domestic business growth across Africa. 

Successful emerging market growth stories are characterised by the proliferation and expansion of SMMEs. Even in developed economies, the SMME sector sustains the kind of economic expansion and broad-based employment which long-term prosperity and stability is built on. 

Standard Bank’s commitment to driving Africa’s growth has contributed to the evolution of a highly developed African business support capability. The creation of a purpose-driven business and commercial client practice seeks to refine this even further. This is happening at a time where business formation across the continent is leading and sustaining the next phase of African growth. 

With a home-grown experienced workforce, Standard Bank’s BCC division supports full-service business banking operations in 15 African economies. This developed banking platform supports the emergence of domestic and regional businesses across the continent. 

For a long time, Standard Bank has been present in the development of broader policy, legislative and infrastructure environments that gave rise to independent businesses forming in Africa’s emerging and frontier economies. With that experience, the BCC is well placed to lead the next wave of business growth on the continent. 

Growing small businesses into family enterprises, larger importer and exporters, wholesale distributors, or regional private and listed corporations, will sustain inclusive, privately-owned economic growth in Africa for generations to come.

About the author: Bill Blackie is chief executive of Standard Bank’s Business & Commercial Clients division. Picture: SUPPLIED/STANDARD BANK
About the author: Bill Blackie is chief executive of Standard Bank’s Business & Commercial Clients division. Picture: SUPPLIED/STANDARD BANK

This will increase employment and broaden economic inclusion, creating the conditions for prosperity and long-lasting social and political stability. 

In Africa, SMMEs face an array of unique risks and challenges. In this environment, Standard Bank’s presence, balance sheet and local insight and ability is critical in managing the endemic risks that often prevent those businesses from growing into larger and more stable operations. 

As African businesses grow regionally and globally and foreign businesses and investors look to the continent, Standard Bank’s reliable counterparty banking structure will become increasingly important for Africa’s emerging business segment. 

Standard Bank’s now well-functioning working relations with the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China as an equity partner unites Africa and the world’s largest bank in a trade and finance capability ecosystem that spans the globe.

Despite the challenges the continent continues to face, Standard Bank has seen profound resilience and huge progress in Africa in the recent past.

Even in difficult circumstances, Africa’s growth is astounding and the role of technology in the rise cannot be over-emphasized. For small and less capitalised businesses, the sustained decrease in the cost of banking afforded by technology is a game-changer. Technology, today, is the difference between survival and failure for businesses. 

Standard Bank’s BCC division is committed to expanding the suite of simple and complex technologies that are making ever more businesses possible in Africa. 

BCC has been assembled on the view that Africa is entering an exciting expansion phase, characterised by rapid private business formation and growth.

As a result, BCC will harness Standard Bank’s considerable business experience in tandem with its established African and global capital, knowledge and capability ecosystems to nurture and grow African businesses domestically, regionally, and globally. 

This article was paid for by Standard Bank. 

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