Letshego MFB Nigeria Wins AFAWA Bank Of The Year At African Banker Awards 2023
Letshego Nigeria’s Chief Executive Officer, Nkosana Ndlovu
Letshego Microfinance Bank Nigeria, a subsidiary of Letshego Holdings Limited (Letshego Group) recently won the African Development Bank Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa Award (AFAWA) Bank of the Year Award for 2023 at the African Banker Awards 2023 ceremony at the Rixos Hotel in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
The AFAWA award is a pan-African initiative aimed at bridging the USD42 billion financing gap faced by women in Africa. Within a single year, Letshego has allocated 63% of its 5,115 loans to support women-led Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) and small businesses using their Step Up Loan solution.
The Bank of the Year award recognises Letshego’ MFB Nigeria’s outstanding achievements and has granted them USD250,000 in funding from the African Development Bank Group. This funding is provided to empower Letshego Nigeria to further increase its focus on supporting Nigerian women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and contribute to employment creation and economic development.
Letshego Nigeria’s Chief Executive Officer Nkosana Ndlovu said, “We are delighted to have won this award from the African Development Bank Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa. Our purpose is to Improve Lives by extending the reach of simple, affordable, and appropriate financial solutions to individuals and Micro and Small Entrepreneurs (MSEs) with a focus on Youth, Health, Agriculture, Education, Affordable Housing and Entrepreneurs.
“In so doing, we strive to accelerate financial inclusion to those segments of society who have traditionally been marginalised when it comes to access to formal financial services, in this case, to women, many of whom are small traders and Micro and Small Entrepreneurs (MSEs) who need ready access to finance to ease their cash flow challenges in a timely, reliable and sustainable manner,” the CEO said.
The African continent has the highest percentage of women entrepreneurs in the world. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2016/17 Women’s Report, the female entrepreneurship rate in sub-Saharan Africa is 25.9% of the female adult population, meaning that one in four women starts or manages a business. Women typically reinvest up to 90% of their income in the education, health and nutrition of their family and community – compared to up to 40% for men. This means that investing in women’s businesses can transform societies.
Despite the clear benefits of financial inclusion, women continue to face institutional barriers and social and cultural biases that exclude them from the finance sector, leaving them with no place to safely store or transfer their money, no capital to launch their business, and a limited ability to control their financial futures. Through their Step up Loan and other financial solutions that they offer, Letshego Nigeria is committed in its support to enable women to drive their own futures, start their own businesses, provide for their families, and lift their communities out of poverty.
Letshego Microfinance Bank Limited is a licensed financial services provider in Nigeria, providing loans to individuals across the public and private sectors, and the educational sector as well as supporting Micro and Small Entrepreneurs (MSE).
Letshego Microfinance Bank first opened its doors in September 2010 and has since grown to serving thousands of customers, having a staff compliment of over 280 employees, spread across 23 branches nationwide. Letshego Microfinance
It is a subsidiary of the Letshego Group, an African multinational, first opening its doors in Botswana more than 21 years ago by offering loans to government employees. Today, the Group has over 3,000 employees of more than 21 nationalities and supports individual public and private sector customers and micro and small entrepreneurs. Letshego has operations in 11 sub-Saharan African markets, including Eswatini, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.