Standard Bank unveils Phuka SME growth hub
Standard Bank plc Tuesday launched an entrepreneurs’ incubation hub— dubbed Phuka Hub—reaf firming its commitment to supporting small and medium business as a source of sustainable economic growth in Malawi.
Phuka Hub is an incubator programme that will be offered to Standard Bank’s SME clients to help them tap new market frontiers, grow their businesses and become resilient to external shocks.
Through the Phuka hub, Standard Bank hopes to facilitate the creation of jobs, build capacity through business-ready skills and mentorship and provide linkages for local SMEs to new trade opportunities.
To kick start the programme, Standard Bank has partnered Synergy to deliver the incubator programme and provide co-working space for SMEs. Successful incubates will be allowed to access the Phuka Hub, situated at Synergy in Lilongwe’s Area 12.
Standard Bank Chief Executive Officer Phillip Madinga said Phuka aims to address challenges that hinder success of the SME sector.
He observed that the SME sector is the source of growth as it offers the entry point to any meaningful income-generating activity at the higher levels of any country’s economic structure.
“The sector accounts for the majority of businesses in Malawi and is an important contributor to job creation and national economic development.
“we, at Standard Bank, we understand that the entrepreneurial journey is daunting. Our goal is to create a conducive environment for this sector by imparting world-class knowledge, mentorship and experiences that will propel local SMEs to greater heights in line with our core purpose which is ‘Malawi is our Home, we Drive her Growth’”, Madinga said.
According to Madinga, the Phuka platform is beneficial to SMEs as it will provide them with access to finance, markets and refine their business skills.
“Apart from access to finance and markets for SMEs, Phuka programme will equip them with business modelling, marketing, and negotiating, among many other skills. Furthermore, the hub will initiate advisory services and mentorship programs to propel the vibrancy of the sector,” Madinga said.
Synergy Board Chairperson Justice Zione Ntaba hailed Standard Bank for partnering her organisation in fueling the growth of SMEs in the country.