In this section:
Small businesses account for approximately 33% of the continent’s GDP and this share is set to increase as African economies continue to develop. They are important drivers of work creation and on average they account for over half of the labour force in Africa.
This is especially important, in lower-income communities, where they have a disproportionate impact by providing informal work to many who do not have the qualifications or experience to secure formal employment in larger businesses. Small businesses can also increase a country’s economic resilience by broadening and diversifying the local economy while driving productivity gains though increased innovation and competition.
Despite this, small business faces many challenges including; access to business development skills to improve the effectiveness with which entrepreneurs and business owners can conduct their business; access to markets including the knowledge of and/or the networks to access existing opportunities; and access to appropriate finance and financial services and products.
In order to address these challenges and aid the development of SMEs, Barclays Africa has a robust strategy in place, focused on:
- We provide aspirant entrepreneurs and small business owners with business development support to start and grow their businesses through our Enterprise Development centres, as well as our enterprise skills, incubator and accelerator programmes.
- We support FinTech innovation and collaboration through RISE, our global innovation programme.
- Our supply chain development programme provides entrepreneurs with access to business opportunities with Barclays Africa, and our corporate and business bank partners.
- Our inclusive procurement practices support suppliers, including SMEs, with business opportunities that contribute to economic growth.
- Our Procurement Portal, an online platform that connects SMEs to corporate and government buyers to help SMEs identify markets and find business opportunities.
- We offer specialist funding solutions to enterprises, which compliments our traditional Enterprise/SME financing options.