13 September 2015

NBF Elham focuses on helping Emirati businesswomen become more successful

Source: NBF e-newsletter.

The National Bank of Fujairah (NBF) has launched NBF Elham, a department dedicated to supporting the banking requirements of female Emirati business leaders and entrepreneurs. Elham (إلهام) means 'inspiration' in Arabic.

Staffed by female Emirati corporate bankers and operating initially from the bank's Al Quoz branch, NBF Elham will provide Emirati businesswomen easy access to the bank's extensive knowledge and experience in multiple industries as well as its corporate banking services and growing suite of Islamic banking solutions.

While the UAE has issued countrywide directives committed to smoothening the transition of Emirati women into the corporate world, statistical and anecdotal evidence suggest that local female entrepreneurs, regardless of their strong ability and desire for success, still face challenges in receiving the appropriate support for their businesses.

Vikram Pradhan, NBF's Head of Corporate & Institutional Banking, said that NBF Elham reaffirms the bank's relationship-driven focus and commitment to the country's long term goal of cultivating a pipeline of Emirati business leaders.

"It is through my discussions with our Emirati lady clients and female relationship managers from my team that have made me realise that while the entrepreneurial spirit is very much alive in the UAE, many Emirati women entrepreneurs are not aware of, or do not have ready access to, the working capital, financial tools and expert guidance that would otherwise be available to other business owners.

"As a well-established local bank with one of the best track records in supporting businesses in the UAE, we are naturally the first to have identified this unique segment. By leveraging our highly trained and dedicated female Emirati relationship team and the bank's accumulated business experience and financial expertise, we hope to be able to level the playing field for aspiring Emirati female business leaders and thereby pave the way for their greater participation and success in the local economy."

Vince Cook, NBF's Chief Executive Officer, added: "The increasingly crucial role that Emirati businesswomen play in the future of the UAE requires little explanation, and as a customer segment, it is certainly deserving of greater attention from the local banking sector. Just as the government is actively pushing for greater inclusion of talented local women into the socio-political and economic spheres, we feel that there is much more that NBF can do on the ground to support the growing number of female Emirati businesswomen.

"With NBF Elham, we hope to not only encourage a stronger entrepreneurial culture within the country but to partner Emirati businesswomen as they achieve further breakthroughs in their respective industries."

NBF Elham is part of the bank's corporate and institutional banking division, which also has specialised teams focusing on various industries, from energy and marine, services and manufacturing to precious metals and diamonds.