From stokvel to the first women-owned bank in South Africa

From stokvel to the first women-owned bank in South Africa

- South Africa's first women-owned bank was successfully registered in June 2018

- The bank started as a stokvel but quickly grew to a much bigger organisation

- The bank is a positive sign that South Africa is still developing and growing, despite political and violent issues.

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South Africa is a country of progression and success, despite the many obstacles faced by citizens.

The proof is in the pudding, or in this case, in the bank. South Africa's first women-owned bank has been registered in June 2018.

Nthabeleng Likotsi is the executive chairman and founder of the growing powerhouse YWBN (Young Women in Business Network) behind this recent success.

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It was Likotsi that shared the news on social media.

The Young Women in Business Network initially started out as an informal stokvel but has grown into a full-fledged financial institution for black entrepreneurs.

YWBN was born 8 years ago, and the aim was to create a place where South Africans can invest long-term as in a stokvel, but with a different approach.

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The network wanted to create an institution that addresses the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act.

The team behind YWBN did lots of research and discovered that there were stokvels making billions. They decided to use the same model, but rather than using the saved money for holidays or groceries, they used the money to buy company shares.

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With hard work and dedication the YWBN had 35 members in 2012. Each member was saving R1 000 a month.

The YWBN and a partner bought shares in Namlog. It was their first real investment.

Destiny had Likotsi's path cross with a Swedish woman in 2014 and the idea of co-operative banking was born.

The humble YWBN reached an equity capital of R 2 million that they made from 200 members and could start giving out loans.

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Soon the company grew even bigger.

The YWBN has more than R1 million in savings and could be registered with the South African Reserve Bank as a fully fledged co-operative bank after it’s been operating for a year and can provide audited financial statements.

And so South Africa's first women-owned bank was born - a wonderfully progressive step towards liberating women in the country.

According to the YWBN website, their vision is to be an investment company that is not only known for facilitating the empowerment of women through investments and financial independence but a company that uplifts women across the spectrum by enabling them to assist with transformation in their own communities.

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The loans that the bank will be giving out will be focused on entrepreneurs. It is the aim of the network that the bank will always be owned and run by 60% black women.

Congratulations have been flowing in for the women behind this success:

What an inspiring group of women!

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