The program will be extended to the rest of the regions including Coast, Western, Nyanza, and the Rift Valley regions with the aim of reaching 10000 women entrepreneurs by end of this year.
Absa Bank Kenya with the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), has commenced an inter-county business training programme that will benefit women-led small and medium businesses with financial and business development skills.
Themed “Empowering Business-Women Across the Counties” programme aims to empower over 1000 women entrepreneurs from the Mt. Kenya region with business skills through mentorship and coaching sessions. Other counties that will host the business training sessions include Murang’a, Laikipia, Meru and Kirinyaga counties.
Speaking at the launch of the drive, Absa Business Banking Director Elizabeth Wasunna-Ochwa highlighted the importance of the business forums citing them as an important learning and networking platform for women-led SMEs which, according to the Central Bank of Kenya, represent about 33% of all small businesses.
“Women-led businesses are on the rise in Kenya and the Central region has produced several successful women business owners with a massive potential to generate even more. However, women entrepreneurs face structural challenges and barriers to financing such as access to capital, markets and financial undersurface which need to be addressed. Together with KNCCI, we are convinced that empowering women entrepreneurs through skills development and knowledge, will drive socio-economic growth and if we work in partnership with business and government, we can improve their opportunities and outcomes in global value chains,” said Ms. Wasunna.
Through the Absa SHE Account, women entrepreneurs can access unsecured lending of up to KES10 million thus facilitating access to the requisite financing and capital which enables their businesses to grow and access local, regional and international markets.
“We aim to empower and create deeper inclusion of women business owners through tailored financial products that address specific needs for women business owners,” adds Ms Wasunna.
Absa has joined forces with the KNCCI to scale the impact of both its financial and non-financial interventions towards women entrepreneurs across the country to help women entrepreneurs overcome barriers to investment and trade by leveraging their training programmes to develop local, regional and global networks, as well as gain more growth opportunities.
“We are glad to be partnering with Absa in creating favourable commercial, trade and investment opportunities in redefining the future of women businesses and their contribution to the economy, not only in the Mt, Kenya region, but the whole of Kenya,’’ says Nancy Muthoni, National Vice Chair – Women in Business, (KNCCI).
The forums are part of the bank’s commitment to impact over 1 million women entrepreneurs over the next five years with financial and non-financial solutions designed to accelerate their business growth. In the coming phases, the programme will be extended to the rest of the regions including Coast, Western, Nyanza and the Rift Valley regions with the aim of reaching 10000 women entrepreneurs by end of this year.