First Capital Bank leads in mourning passing on of Filipe Marques

First Capital Bank leads Malawi business community in mourning the passing on of Filipe Marques, who facilitated 12.5 million Euros facility to First Capital Bank through the European Investment Bank (EIB) to benefit the country’s small & medium enterprises (SMEs) in the agriculture sector.

Marques, agricultural finance expert, was team leader of the SMEs in Southern African and as well as a member of international advisory services at Frankfurt School of Finance & Management — which offers technical support for sustainable commercialization of smallholder farmers across Southern Africa.

“The Board and management of First Capital Bank are shocked of the untimely demise of Felipe, who was instrumental in the allocation of 12.5 million Euros facility under the ‘Kukoma Access to Finance Program’”, says the Bank in a condolence statement.

“The facility will benefit many Malawians in the agriculture sector. Through Felipe, we at First Capital Bank feel deeply privileged to have worked and received technical assistance from the European Investment Bank Operations in the Southern Africa Region.

“Felipe will be remembered as an inspiring and vibrant individual, filled with great optimism — which left a memorable mark on those he met and worked with. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”

In November last year, Marques — in the company of EIB’s Dr. Marcus Schulte — were in the country to facilitate the Blantyre edition of Boosting Women in Agriculture Pitch Night.

The event followed the success hosting of similar event in Lilongwe in May last year, where selected Southern Region female-led agribusinesses had a lifetime opportunity of presenting their business plans to a renowned all-female jury and a room full of industry expert, whose winner was obtained a loan of up to K100 million.

Marques (right) and Marcus Schulte announcing Boosting Women in Agriculture Pitch Night in November last year

The objective of WomeninAg Pitch Night is to provide a platform to introduce the participants’ agribusiness to investors, potential clients, the media and fellow entrepreneurs while creating a safe and engaging space for female-led business.

It is being organised with funding from European Union (EU) in partnership with EIB, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management and the country’s two leading financial institutions, First Capital Bank and Ecobank.

At a press conference to announce the Blantyre edition of the WomeninAg Pitch Night, Marques had said the initiative was part of the broader Team Europe’ support for sustainable commercialization of smallholder farmers across Malawi and southern Africa.

And in his response to the partnership in November, First Capital Bank’s head of marketing, Twikale Chirwa said they were proud to be associated with WomeninAg, saying Malawi’s economy is agro-driven and they are duty bound to help the sector develop.

He had emphasized that First Capital Bank offers a ‘Makwacha’ product, which augurs well with the Boosting Women in Agriculture concept as it also offers technical and business development support — just as the objective of WomeninAg Pitch Night.

He had added that the partnership would also benefit the rural masses who are easily reached out through their branches across the country.

The Boosting WomeninAg Pitch Night aims to enable soft skillsets, business acumen and strengthen value chain integration, which includes smallholder participation.

In her remarks, Chanza said this agricultural financing facility resonates well with Ecobank’s product of ‘Elevate’ — made specifically for women-focused businesses that provide products, services and tools to help such female entrepreneurs to succeed.

She had said Elevate targets individual women businesses or 50%-led female companies, products made by women and now focuses on agribusiness value added chain.

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