BLC Bank and the Quest for Women's Empowerment in MENA
(8 pages of text)
In 2010, the assistant general manager and head of strategic development at Lebanon’s BLC Bank attended the annual summit of the Global Banking Alliance for Women, a leading organization of financial institutions that drove the creation of women’s wealth worldwide. On her return to Beirut, she encouraged her bank to capitalize on the inclusion of women as a relevant differentiator from both a business and societal perspective. The result of research into the economic, demographic and social needs of the country was the launch in 2012 of the "We Initiative", a unique and comprehensive program dedicated to the economic empowerment of women in the Middle East and North Africa region. By 2015, the program’s success not only served the bank’s economic bottom line but also benefited the Lebanese economy and community as a whole and exemplified the bank’s sense of responsibility to its society.
The case is relevant to both undergraduate and graduate business programs in courses that deal with corporate social responsibility, international business, human resources, social development and social entrepreneurship. It will provide students exposure to:
- How a business can create shared value for itself and its community by striving to generate economic value in a way that also engenders added value for its surrounding community.
- How a business can develop an initiative that exemplifies shared value creation by linking its economic growth to tackling needs and challenges in its community.
- The role of strategic corporate social responsibility initiatives in creating programs that promote entrepreneurship, reduce unemployment, improve production and gross domestic product and promote women’s development and empowerment in business.
- How a women’s empowerment initiative can be embedded in the context of a strategic corporate social responsibility focus for a business corporation.
Finance and Insurance
Lebanon, Large, 2015
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