KARACHI: Standard Chartered announced at the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Business Call to Action, hosted by the UK Government and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in London, that it will launch a programme to unlock the growth potential of small businesses and micro-enterprises in developing countries. This is a reflection of the increasing international focus on economic development and private sector partnership as the most effective approach to poverty alleviation. The MDG were agreed in 2000 by United Nations member countries.
The pilot for Standard Chartered’s commitment will be launched in Lahore, Pakistan and, if successful, will be rolled out further across key markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Standard Chartered Pakistan’s dedicated SME team is also based in Lahore. This pilot will provide participating SMEs with training to develop the skills to make their businesses successful. The programme will also include business mentoring opportunities. Importantly, Standard Chartered will also explore the potential to provide tailor-made financial products for participating entrepreneurs, in line with the Bank’s SME credit strategy.
Badar Kazmi, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Pakistan said, “Standard Chartered has operated in Pakistan since 1863 and is the country’s largest and fastest growing international bank – the Bank has unrivalled knowledge and experience of the market and the SME sector. The commitment also supports the State Bank of Pakistan’s priorities for the nation’s economic development.”-SANA