KCB Bank has unveiled a Sh250 billion fund for women entrepreneurs in the country in line with its role of promoting economic growth.
The fund which will run for five years is dedicated to funding women-led and owned Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across the country.
The lender has already set the ground for unlocking the fund by easing the credit requirements and documentation such as security, to guarantee faster loan processing periods for the entrepreneurs.
In addition to the loans, the women entrepreneurs will also be able to receive non-financial support from the lender’s partner organizations.
KCB Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Paul Russo, revealed this development in an interview with the press.
“KCB believes that the MSME sector bears the biggest influence on the economic trajectory of East Africa. We are reimagining the way we engage with women entrepreneurs to enable them better overcome business challenges by providing working capital and other critical non-financial needs to sustain their growth.
“Even though women run some of the most transformative businesses in the country, they still face many hurdles such as limited access to credit facilities, labor and skill gaps, exclusion from key networks and also other social and legal constraints.
“What we are now doing is mainstreaming this agenda by widening the net to enable more women entrepreneurs to get access to the critical business support touch points.
“When a woman wants to start or grow her own business, the odds of securing a business loan are heavily stacked against her. We are relaxing some of the requirements as a solution to addressing inequality in accessing credit finance.
“With almost 80 per cent of women-owned businesses having limited access to credit, lack of collateral and proper documentation has also made it more difficult for them to access the already limited funds, a gap the bank intends to fill.”
The lender will avail Sh50 billion annually for five years to Female-Led and Made Enterprises (FLME) to support entrepreneurship and job creation and to strengthen its outreach towards unique market segments like businesses owned and run by women.
KCB is committed to increasing the value of loans disbursed to women and the spending targeting special groups like persons living with disabilities, a move that intends to empower and catalyse FLMR locally and internationally.