11 March 2011

Members of the Barclays Business Club will, this year, have a choice of seven international destinations to choose from – as they chart their course for business growth in 2011.

Barclays Bank of Kenya (Barclays Bank) has identified five destinations in Asia, one in the United Kingdom and one in the United States of America. The purpose of the tours is to facilitate networking opportunities between the Bank’s customers in the SME sector and potential suppliers and partners in foreign countries.

The first trip is slated for March 19th, 2011 to Las Vegas, Nevada (U.S.) where members will attend the CONEXPO, one of the largest trade fairs in the construction industry. It will be followed by a trip to the United Kingdom in May which will target businesses with interest in the ICT and engineering sectors.

Barclays also has planned trips to Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, in September, suited for businesses in the fields of electronics, clothing and textiles, and automobiles; before closing the year with a business tour to Japan and India in December.

In addition to the international events, Barclays has organised local networking events; one in Mombasa during April and the second in Samburu during August, as well as the 4th Annual Business Club Members Trade Fair scheduled for Nairobi in July.

The calendar was officially unveiled at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre during a seminar sponsored by the Bank for small business owners.

Speaking during the seminar, Barclays Managing Director, Adan Mohamed said the trips have gone a long way in adding value to the SME customer segment, which is a key driver of accelerating Kenya’s economic development.

"As a result of the Barclays Business Club offerings, there has been a remarkable improvement in our customer’s business growth," said Mr. Mohamed. "Our customers, who are entrepreneurs and small business owners, have participated in Barclays Business Club trips and leveraged those contacts and transacted businesses worth in excess of Ksh 3 billion."

"We leverage Barclays scale and global reach to create unique growth opportunities for our customers. By exploring and encouraging unique international SME activities, that broadened the reach of small business owners, we hope to add value and stimulate the local Kenyan economy," he said.

With over 13,000 members, the Barclays Business Club is arguably one of the most successful in the region with close to a quarter of all the SMEs banking with Barclays Kenya being members of this Club.