Absa Bank Kenya has partnered with Melanin Kapital and the African Guarantee Fund (AGF), seeking to train at least 600 women entrepreneurs with free investment readiness.
The programme, dubbed Tuungane 2x na Absa, comes amid numerous challenges faced by women entrepreneurs including limited funding, balancing responsibilities, inadequate support systems, and limited business knowledge, among others.
Painting a picture of the local scene, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) recently noted that despite women in Kenya having the potential to become equal contributors to the country’s GDP (gross domestic product) and economic growth in general, they only form 33% of the total SMEs.
AGF Director for Structured Finance Nishdeep Sethi said the fund will provide financial institutions such as Absa with risk-sharing mechanisms that enable the same to increase their lending to women-owned SMEs across the continent.
“With a presence in 40 African countries, AGF has unlocked more than KES 300 billion in financing for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Cumulatively, about 30,000 SMEs have gained access to income-enhancing loans which are estimated to have generated nearly KES 600 billion in incremental income,” she added.