Absa Bank Kenya and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) have launched a KSh 50 million program dubbed SHE Stars for small and medium scale women traders.
The 18 months training program is aimed at helping female entrepreneurs cope with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy.
“Absa Bank is committed to making financial services more accessible and improving financial literacy among women entrepreneurs,” said Absa Bank’s Business Banking Director Elizabeth Wasunna.
“We need to encourage as many women entrepreneurs as possible to register their businesses, formalise their operations and maintain good records of their transactions,” Wasunna said.
The partnership under the Employment and Skills for Development in Africa Programme (E4D) is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and co-funded by European Union (EU), Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), as well as the companies Sasol and Quoniam.
Dubbed ‘SHE Stars‘, the project offers business skills training for 1,500 female entrepreneurs in various sectors of the economy.
This is done through face-to-face training, online sessions and workshops and will address issues such as inadequate access to finance, mentorship, information and markets.
The analysis of the business impacts of Covid-19 and the development of coping and adaptation measures will be specifically targeted.
GIZ representative and head of the training programme Thomas Jaeschke said women-led businesses in Kenya and beyond have multiplier financial effects both on the national economy on households.
He said the partnership aims to address capacity, structural and financial challenges as well as the impacts of the current pandemic the women face in realising their full potential in accelerating the multiplier effects.
The 1,500 beneficiaries will be enrolled in a Technical Business Management programme facilitated by Yunus Environment Hub under the Absa SHE Business Academy.
They will be taught cash flow analysis, risk management, income diversification, branding, fundraising, leadership, and people management. As part of the training program, the bank will also provide loan facilities.
- Be an Absa Bank Kenya customer with a business account.
- Should be between the ages of 22 and 55 years.
- Have been in business for at least 2 years.
- The business should be women-led/owned.
- Have demonstrated a keen interest for growth, e.g through operation expansion over years, growth in annual turnover, increase in jobs opportunities, market penetration etc.
- Favourably the business should be solving a challenge within social and environmental bounds.
- The business should be solving a challenge within the following sectors: Agribusiness value chains, Hospitality & Tourism, Retail & Wholesale, Manufacturing, Education, Information and
Communications Technology, Business Services (consultancy and basic services) and Waste Management & Sanitation.