Equity banks Africa’s Best Bank for SMEs Award 2021

The Equity Group keeps proving its value to small and medium enterprises in Africa. 

Equity Bank was named Africa’s best bank for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) during the 2021 Euromoney awards, 

The bank was commended for its continuous support of its SME clients, with lending increasing by 30% to USD 4.8 billion by 2020.

Equity’s unsecured capital financing to SMEs

According to a statement, Equity Bank’s SME lending has recently centered on unsecured working capital finance. This is with a particular emphasis on supply chain financing in agricultural, manufacturing, fast-moving consumer goods, and healthcare.

According to Managing Director James Mwangi, the award confirms the Bank’s vision of advocating the socio-economic success of African people.

Extending Credit 

“By extending credit to them during the period, Equity demonstrated its commitment to walking the journey with its customers and its empathy with their socio-economic situation brought about by the pandemic.” Despite the pandemic’s devastating effects, Equity boosted its lending to SMEs, which accounted for 51 percent of the overall loan book at the end of 2020.

He added that the bank displayed its dedication to accompanying customers on their journey as well as empathy for their socioeconomic circumstances as a result of the pandemic.

Euromoney marked that Equity Bank has, “continued to access credit-risk guarantees as well as senior and subordinated funding from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and development finance institutions in Europe – arrangements specifically designed for SMEs, including female entrepreneurs and agricultural value chains.”

MSMEs face challenges from managing and enabling financial activities, obtaining finance, and increasing their reach

“Equity has fortified its product offerings by providing them with customized, flexible, and integrated banking solutions, for both business owners and employees.” Equity Managing Director, James Mwangi. 

Since 2018, the IFC SME Finance Forum has named Equity the “Best Bank in Africa for SMEs” for three years in a row. Equity won three Euromoney awards in 2020, including Best Bank in Africa, Best Digital Bank, and Excellence in Leadership.

Through its 190 national branch network and internet channels, Equity provides banking services to over 800,000 SMEs in Kenya.