Wednesday 27th September 2017
Türk Ekonomi Bankası (TEB) has sought to strengthen women’s presence in the world of entrepreneurship via its Women Banking program since its establishment in 2015. When it began its Women’s Market journey, the bank found women in business face four primary challenges, and TEB’s Women Banking strategy was constructed around four pillars that aim to address these issues: access to finance, access to information, access to markets and access to mentoring. Building on the information and mentoring pillars, TEB Women Banking recently expanded its strong non-financial services offering to include two capacity building programs for Turkish women SME owners: TEB Star Cluster and TEB Grow-up Academy.
One of the biggest challenges that women face while running their businesses is a lack of access to guidance and support from trusted mentors who can provide them with the advice they need to succeed. With TEB Star Cluster, the bank is partnering with a coaching firm to train branch managers on business coaching skills, with a particular focus on the needs of women entrepreneurs. The program aims to increase the business performance of women SME owners, as well as technical and soft-skill capabilities of branch managers, new customer acquisition, cross-sell opportunities, and brand awareness for the bank.
TEB selects high-potential branch managers who have indicated a willingness to support women entrepreneurs to participate in the Star Cluster program. Over a period of nine months, they are trained on topics such as coaching methods, marketing and sales techniques based on DISC human profile analysis. They then apply their learnings at their own branches to help women SME owners grow their businesses, working with their customers and the coaching firm to prepare a 180-day business plan for each client. Star Cluster coaches are expected to give advice, help customers develop their business plans, follow-up throughout the implementation process and create business success stories during the next 180 days. Each Star Cluster coach is required to include a minimum of two women-owned SMEs in their coaching program.
The first Star Cluster coaches started their training in February of this year, and to date, 24 branch managers have completed the training, with 48 customers coached and business plans prepared.
TEB Grow-up Academy is another new non-financial service offering from the bank that seeks to build a strong foundation for a woman SME owner’s business based on 3 major fundamentals: marketing, sales and planning for the future. The program comprises three full-day sessions conducted every two weeks by the same coaching firm responsible for the Star Cluster training, leading participants through the key components of these three topics. During the program women learn how to create systems that allow their businesses to run efficiently by:
The Grow-up Academy first launched in July 2017 and has trained 20 women so far. Based on its success in assisting women entrepreneurs to strengthen their businesses and building the bank’s brand awareness as the bank of reference for women in Turkey, TEB plans to continue the program throughout 2018.