NOT even the wet weather condition nor the power cuts that were experienced in the better part of Gaborone last night could stop the bold brand to unveil a new baby who has been under-wraps for a while now. Ably led by Reinette van der Merwe, MD of Barclays Bank of Botswana and the leadership team, the bank pulled a curious crowd of over 200 people who were eager to know what’s up the bank’s sleeve with the Small and Medium entrepreneurs. The event was blessed by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dorcas Makgato-Malesu who commended the bank for the ‘big step in the right direction.’

The bank has launched a ground-breaking value SME proposition which defines Small businesses as those enterprises with an annual turnover of up to P10 million while Medium businesses are those with an annual turnover of between P10 million to P25 million.

Buoyed by the merger with Absa to form the Barclays Africa Group, the bank believes it has the capacity to roll out a game changer in the local SME business. Across the markets the bank goes under one vision of being the ‘Go-To’ bank for its customers and clients leveraging the expertise and skill across markets to give Batswana the best banking solutions.

MD, Reinette van der Merwe reiterates that the bank can leverage its foot print both locally and regionally to give its hordes of customers the best SME offering ever. She believes that Barclays, which has a long history in Botswana, can provide the right products that suit the ambitions and needs of all customers and clients.

“Our mission is to help people achieve their ambitions in the right way and for them to think Barclays every time they need a banking solution. I am pleased to note that we have established a strong team of qualified people who will manage our SME offering in the different sectors of the economy including amongst others; commercial agriculture, tourism, business services, oil & energy, mining & surveying, wholesale & retail trade as well as the value chain in these sectors,” she said.

The core solutions to be provided to the SME customer base are business transactional account, investment and saving products and foreign exchange products. Additional solutions will include vehicle asset finance, working capital loans or overdrafts, trade solutions and Barclays Integrator which is our internet banking. The SME proposition is a result of extensive and rigorous customer and stakeholder engagement which recommended that the bank should strengthen the Local Business and develop a product that will be tailor-made for the ever evolving needs of the fast-growing small and medium sized enterprises segment in Botswana.