Absa Bank Kenya yesterday held a very colorful ceremony in support of the women entrepreneurs in Kenya and committed 10 billion shillings as a loan fund for women-led small and micro enterprises (SMEs).
The event that witnessed overwhelming attendance from women SME’s of all walks played as a key opportunity to interact and network for the ladies while learning from the interactive panelists.
The speakers called upon the Government to accord the banking industry more support so that it could be in a position to uplift more Kenyans by availing financial education and support.
The event dubbed ‘She Trades Kenya ‘was organized and sponsored by the Absa bank days after it rebranded from Barclays Kenya in another colorful event.
Absa’s Director of Business Banking Elizabeth Wasuna revealed to the She Trades Event attendees that the bank would now enable its customers to access loans of upto 3million shillings within a period of 48 hours thanks to a new facility dubbed Wezesha Express.
The loans by the Wezesha Express will be advanced at a 13 percent interest rate and will be repaid within a period of three years.
“The Wezesha Express is a new proposition we included because we know he customers need speed and efficiency. Customers will need to produce 12-month bank statements from any bank or M-PESA transactions,” Wasuna said.
Wasuna added that the kitty is targeting 10,000 women by the year 2021 and would be available to any woman who has a viable business plan and is already in business across all sectors in the Country.
Wasuna also informed that Absa would be training the women in a partnership deal with United States International University (USIU).
“Women form over 50 percent of the local and global population and account for a significant percentage of the SME sector. However, their participation in national economic development is often stifled by limited access to financial resources and social-cultural restrictions,”. Absa Bank Kenya Managing Director Jeremy Awori said.
Jeremy added that Absa was confident that this proposition, coupled with the additional interventions it would continue to make, would go a long way in boosting their growth.
“In addition, we offer advisory services as well as networking and international benchmarking opportunities through our Absa Business Club.”
SheTradesKE programme aligns well with the bank’s overall commitment to continue offering relevant financial solutions to SMEs under the new Absa brand according to Jeremy.
“We have revamped our SME Wezesha Biashara to provide unsecured loans of up to 10 million shillings with a repayment tenor of up to 6 years; LPO financing; invoice discounting of up to 50 million shillings and up to 10 million shillings in unsecured bid bonds with a turnaround time of up to 2 hours,” Jeremy said.
Mr. Awori added that the propositions were designed in consideration of the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs and would go a long way in facilitating their trade.