Absa Bank Kenya PLC on Tuesday announced that it will be committing Ksh 10 billion over the next 5 years in advancing credit to women-owned small and medium enterprises as part of the new customer value propositions under the Absa brand.
“Women form over 50% 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. We are confident that this proposition, coupled with the additional interventions we continue to make, will go a long way in boosting their growth,” Absa Bank Kenya Managing Director Jeremy Awori said.
The fund was announced during a Women in Business Forum organised in conjunction with the International Trade Centre (ITC) as part of the SheTradesKE Programme which the bank has been implementing in Kenya over the last four years.
Wezesha Express, to process loans Upto Ksh 3 million in 24 hours
Absa Kenya also announced the launch of the Wezesha Express, a new proposition designed to speed up the turn-around-time for processing loans. Under this proposition, the bank committed to processing SME loans of up to Ksh 3 million within 48 hours, from application to having the money in your account.
According to ITC, women-led SMEs represent 20 percent of the businesses involved in international trade. Through the SheTrades initiative, ITC is planning to bring more than 3 million women-led businesses to market by 2021.
In Kenya, the SheTradesKE programme aims to empower more than 10,000 women in the SME sector with the skills and resources they need to effectively compete on the global stage. So far, more than 3 500 Kenyan women have benefitted from the programme through mentorship, training and capacity building conducted via Webinar, face to face interactions and workshops.
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