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Summit Day 1: Master Class & Westminster Policy Forum

Monday 13th November 2017

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Day 1 of the 2017 GBA Summit kicks off with the Women’s Market Master Class and EBRD Women in Business Discussion Panel, hosted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development at their headquarters in London. The day will be anchored by a lively Policy Forum on Key Enablers of Women-Led SMEs in the UK, held at the Palace of Westminster.

The Master Class offers Summit participants and invited guests an opportunity to learn about the business case for the Women’s Market, hear from GBA members who have seen strong results with their value propositions for women, and explore the experiences of leading financial institutions implementing EBRD Women in Business Programmes.

Analysis of global aggregated data from GBA banks shows solid progress around women’s customer growth, savings, product usage, loyalty and risk rates – proving the Women’s Market represents a powerful opportunity for banks that create strong, holistic value propositions tailored to women’s needs. Master Class participants will hear from GBA global best practice banks like Summit host NatWest, part of the Royal Bank of Scotland; BLC Bank in Lebanon; and Westpac in Australia, with bank representatives presenting their own strategic rationale for serving the Women’s Market and results from years of successful implementation.

The Master Class will be followed by a discussion panel focused on the EBRD Women in Business Programme, which has grown to include more than 30 financial institutions in 17 countries since its inception in 2014. To date, the EBRD has provided more than €400 million in financing for women-led businesses through partner financial institutions. The panel will feature a range of perspectives on the successes and challenges of developing and implementing Women’s Market value propositions from diverse institutions and different financial markets (Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo and Turkey).

The Summit will continue in the afternoon at the Houses of Parliament with the Policy Forum. Finance is the lifeblood of any business, and women-owned and -led SMEs find it challenging to access it for a variety of reasons. Women SME owners also need a supportive enabling environment that includes access to non-financial services such as financial and business education, mentors, networks and incubators. The Policy Forum session will map out key policy interventions that can unlock access to finance and non-financial services for women-owned or -led SMEs in the UK, followed by a working session of the All-Party Parliamentary Committee on Women and Enterprise, of which NatWest is a member — demonstrating advocacy in action.

Following the Policy Forum, GBA Summit attendees will be invited to attend our Summit welcome reception at the Palace of Westminster and take a private guided tour of the Houses of Parliament.

The Summit will continue on November 15 and 16 with interactive, educational best practice sessions and dynamic networking events built around the theme “Catalysing Growth in the Female Economy: Leveraging the power of connection.” Check back here for further details.