Tuesday 30th May 2017
Last week we welcomed 23 banks and international organizations from Latin America and the Caribbean to the Dominican Republic, where Banco BHD León hosted our first All-Stars Academy LAC. Withstanding the allure of azure seas and glistening palm trees, 4 expert banks — BHD León, BLC Bank of Lebanon, TEB of Turkey and BancoEstado of Chile — shared a wealth of wisdom and accomplishments on how they have become the bank of choice and the employer of choice for women in their respective markets. IFC and the IDB added to the canon, and all told the sharing was rich and inspiring.
Three weeks from now we take this road show to Zambia, where we will welcome 25 banks from Sub-Saharan Africa, Eurasia and South Asia, as well as central banks from 4 Sub-Saharan African nations — because we know that to make change happen, all ecosystem actors need to be aligned. A critical part of the mix is our development finance institution partners, and we are pleased that the European Investment Bank will be joining a GBA event for the first time as input into their strategy for closing the gender gap in financial services. We expect to recruit a strong set of new members from both Academies, and given the model’s success, are already planning an All-Stars Academy South Asia for Q1 2018.
Meanwhile, FMO, the Dutch Development Bank, which has sponsored GBA since 2015, is complementing its learning journey with a participatory leadership development process that brings together client banks, their women customers and leaders from FMO and the international finance community in a structured workshop setting to co-develop strategies for achieving greater impact in supporting the growth of women-owned and -led small businesses. We welcome FMO’s demonstrated commitment to GBA’s agenda.
And finally this month, a shout out to BancoEstado, which has launched its CreceMujer Activa program targeting all Chilean women on the strength of the successful CreceMujer Emprendedora program. That program has already reached 100,000 women-owned and -led MSMEs, in just two years. With more than 6 million women customers, the bank’s expansion to new segments demonstrates proof of concept, and we now have Chile becoming a serious contender for best practices in serving the Women’s Market in Latin America. Well done.
A heartfelt thank you to our LAC experts from BancoEstado, BHD León, BLC Bank and TEB, as well as to Westpac — which will share its expertise in Africa — for being GBA All-Stars.