The Chief Executive of Stanbic Bank Ghana, Kwamina Asomaning, has reiterated the critical role of the youth in ending poverty on the African continent.
Speaking at the virtual launch of the Stanbic-Innohub Aspire Business Academy, Mr Asomaning, said the opportunities available to Africa’s largely youthful population should be leveraged to ensure the achievement of financial independence.
Mr Asomaning noted that: “At Stanbic Bank, we believe strongly that including the youth early in issues of financial literacy and conscientizing them about the importance of financial independence and the best practices around personal finance management are key to shaping their thinking about finances.
Our gathering here today to officially launch the Stanbic-Innohub Aspire Business Academy reiterates why we exist as a bank, driven by our purpose; Ghana is our home, we drive her growth. Driving growth requires us to invest in the future of our youth.
Hence, in August 2018, we launched one of our most significant Corporate Social Initiatives – the Stanbic Bank (SB) Incubator – to provide business advisory, coaching and mentorship, and market access facilitation and networking opportunities to aspiring entrepreneurs and startups in Ghana.
This year, Stanbic Bank has also established our Youth Banking division to address the financial inclusion gaps amongst the youth. As clichéd as this may sound, the youth and the opportunities available to them hold the key to escaping poverty on the continent. What they need to learn, which in a large part is the responsibility of banks, is how to achieve financial independence,” he added.
Stanbic Bank’s interventions targeted at the youth have made noteworthy strides over the years. Since its establishment in 2018, the SBIncubator Ghana has supported over 7,288 entrepreneurs through 455 curated workshops, pitch sessions and networking events.
With a special focus on women, the banks has directed and supported 1,639 through flagship initiatives like the Stanbic-Vodafone Women in Entrepreneurship Masterclass designed by the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), STEM For Girls, an annual coding training program for girls between the ages of 18-27.
To further entrench its position as a bank for tomorrow’s leaders, the bank launched the Stanbic Business Incubator co-working space in 2019. The space offers world class boardroom, hot-desks, virtual business address services and a 100-seater capacity auditorium for events. This space provides a conducive and enabling environment for young startups to hatch their business without the burden of renting an office and meeting spaces for client meetings.
The Stanbic-Innohub Aspire Business Academy is yet another of such interventions aimed at supporting and promoting student entrepreneurs. It is is a 12-week masterclass designed for idea stage student entrepreneurs to test the viability of their ideas, build strong business structures, and target the right customers to ensure their businesses survive beyond campus.
The goal of the project is to work closely with academic institutions to provide an enabling environment to magnify and encourage students in entrepreneurship and innovation.