Businesses and enterprises who will become members of Biashara Club, a club launched by KCB Bank Rwanda Plc will enjoy a range of benefits including training, links to markets and business counterparts across the world.
The club which started with about 400 entrepreneurs of the bank’s micro, small, and middle enterprise businesses is intended to grow and strengthen their customer relationships according to Innocent Ntwari, the Senior Manager in charge of Personal Banking and Channels at KCB Rwanda.
The KCB Biashara Business Club will essentially provide a platform for the growth of the Bank’s SMEs by offering business solutions and advisory services to the entrepreneurs whilst leveraging on the expertise of the Bank’s strategic partnerships.
The benefits of joining the KCB Biashara Club include an invitation to a number of Biashara seminars, regional and international trips, access to a dedicated relationship manager, preferential pricing on selected bank services, access to Biashara Club newsletters on market trends, a specially designed SME business management toolkit among many others.
Members of the business club pay an annual membership fee which is broken down in either monthly or quarterly installments depending on member preferences.
The prerequisite of joining the KCB Biashara Club is to be a customer of the bank and have a certain degree of affiliation to a business enterprise.
Innocent Ntwari, Senior Manager in charge of Personal Banking and Channels KCB said: “We will train members on business improvement and financial services, link them to clients. We will also be connecting them to other business worldwide to create partnership.”
He said KCB works with over 100,000 traders across the country.
According to the Managing Director of KCB Bank Rwanda Plc, George Odhiambo there are multiple benefits to regional and local business networking that the Biashara Club will provide.
He said the Bank commits to ensure customers maximize business opportunities through the club.
“As a regional Bank we are able to assess business opportunities across the region and advise our customers in their respective fields. It is a practice we have always had and intend to continue building on a larger scale through the introduction of KCB business clubs such as Biashara in our subsidiary markets. We want to bring them together and facilitate them to make things happen. For example, they need to network; they need to learn professional ways of doing business,” he said.
He noted that SMEs need to grow, cooperate and help other people to grow.
“We want to organize the SME business and recognize that they create a lot of employment in this country. We cannot pretend as a bank that we know what they want and that is why we have to closely work with them and bring them together,” he said.
“We want a long-term relationship with them as they are our brand ambassadors. They speak for us. SME is a major contributor to our business. Most of our customers are traders. Over 25 per cent of our clients are small scale traders. We want them to stay with us,” he added.
KCB Biashara club was first launched in Kenya in September 2008 and currently has over 18,000 active members in Kenya and over 4,000 members in the East African region.
Jean Bosco Bigirimana, the owner of Horizon Express, a public transport business said: “We will gain more knowledge through visit tours, training on how to expand and make our businesses effective and innovative by learning from what other businesses in Rwanda and other countries such as China and Vietnam in coming months.”
Pacifique Ntakwasa, the Manager of PV Investment Group added; “Besides access to financial services from the bank, we look forward skills to grow our business through the business club. They will train us in accountancy and help us network with firms in Rwanda and beyond.”