Absa Bank Kenya has announced its commitment to impact over one million women entrepreneurs over the next five years with a new proposal. The new proposal, the Absa She Business Account, offers financial and non-financial solutions designed to accelerate business growth.
The new account is aimed at businesswomen, especially those in the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) segment of the economy. It is built on 4 main pillars; Access to finance, access to the market, access to information as well as access to mentoring and coaching.
Under the Access to Finance pillar, women entrepreneurs will have access to unsecured loans of up to Ksh. 10 million, payable over 5 years for existing borrowers, and Ksh. 7 million for new borrowers payable in 4 years. A grace period of up to 60 days will be granted on a case-by-case basis.
In addition, the proposal will offer mentoring and coaching, business advice and online training to women business owners. This training aims to equip them with essential skills in financial and non-financial best practices, useful for growing their business.
Speaking at the launch, Absa Kenya Managing Director Jeremy Awori said: “If we don’t do anything about these structural challenges, we set ourselves up for failure as a country. Inclusion is not just the right thing to do, it’s the right thing to do and a key success factor that the business community and the country’s leaders should embrace. This is the motivation behind the Absa She Business Account which is tailor-made for the needs of the female entrepreneur, whether you are new to a business or running a large company.
Professor Margaret Kobia was also present at the launch event. The SC commended Absa for its efforts in advocating for women’s empowerment programs and called on more organizations to facilitate similar forums for the achievement of the SDGs of reduced and gender equality.
“My ministry remains committed to continuing its engagement with the private sector and other strategic partners to rebuild a stronger economy that places women, youth, people with disabilities and other disadvantaged groups at the heart of economic recovery strategies for greater investments and directed growth in women ”, noted Professor Kobia
A report released by the Central Bank of Kenya in 2018 indicates that there are 517,000 registered women-owned businesses, of which 33% are small and medium-sized enterprises in Kenya. Another study by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) estimates that more than 70 percent of women-led SMEs in all regions are either financially unserved or underserved.
The bank will partner with various institutions, including the International Trade Center (ITC), KNCCI, KAM, development finance institutions, corporate clients, among other institutions, to expand the impact of financial and non-financial interventions. financial. Thanks to these partnerships, Absa She Business Account offer workshops and online seminars that will fill the gaps in business skills, management and leadership, wealth management, among others.
This proposal also offers insurance coverage for all insurable occupational risks as well as medical and automobile insurance at competitive rates.
Last year, Absa announced a Ksh. 10 billion credits to small and medium enterprises owned by women and in partnership with the International Trade Center to enable businesswomen to participate in the global export / import trade. Today, more than 8,500 women have benefited from this program.