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FNB launches digital entrepreneurship programme in South Africa

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Jenna Delport
Jenna Delport
I’m a tech writer, world traveller, avocado-eater and dog lover, not always in that order.

South African financial services provider, FNB announced on Tuesday, 15 October 2019, that – in the wake of its commitment to help entrepreneurs – it’ll be launching a new digital app-based entrepreneurship learning programme – Fundaba.

The company says that introducing new products and solutions will help increase the level of SME activity and create a culture of entrepreneurship in the country.

“As a bank, it is the business owners in this country who inspire us daily to innovate and find meaningful solutions that are truly impacting on the day-to-day running of their businesses and bottom line,” says Mike Vacy-Lyle, FNB Business CEO. “We are proud that we can offer helpful solutions that provide value and help enable the development of SMEs in South Africa. As an entrepreneurial organisation, we strive to truly understand the needs of our customers.”

Fundaba is a free interactive e-learning business education platform that comprises multimedia content such as videos, podcasts, quizzes, templates and tools for all FNB customers to learn about entrepreneurship and running a business. It has been developed inside the FNB banking app for convenient access.

Fundaba is a free interactive e-learning business education platform that has been developed inside the FNB banking app for convenient access.

FNB says the name ‘Fundaba’ was created through the combination of the South African words “Fundi” (colloquially means “expert”) and “Indaba” (discussion) as these words best describe the aspirations of the product and the impact that FNB hopes to achieve through its use.

“As a leading business bank in South Africa, a core part of our strategy is to help develop SMEs by supporting entrepreneurs through their journey, and a key part of this journey is entrepreneurship knowledge and skills which we believe can help on a large-scale using our digital infrastructure” says Jesse Weinberg, head of the SME Customer Segment at FNB.

The Fundaba educational programme consists of 12 modules across 4 lifecycle stages of business (incubate, start, run and grow) and follows an entrepreneur’s journey as he builds his first business – ‘Lebo’s Bakery’. All audio and video content is available in five local languages including, IsiZulu, isiXhosa, Sesotho, English and Afrikaans.

The Bank has conducted research and worked with hundreds of local business owners and mentors to provide users with critical knowledge and practical help to assist them as they navigate the business journey; from incubating a business idea to starting, running and growing a business in South Africa. SMEs can also actively share and provide feedback on various educational chapters to constantly increase the effectiveness and relevance of the content.

“Through our research and first-hand engagements with SMEs, we discovered that there is a knowledge gap amongst many existing and aspiring entrepreneurs when it comes to starting, running and growing a business. We feel we have a role to play to help close this gap, and at the same time help catalyse a country-wide dialogue of increasing entrepreneurship skills and knowledge sharing” adds Weinberg.

Edited by Jenna Cook

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