Over 1000 women SME owners across Nairobi County have benefited from a five-day financial training tour designed to help women entrepreneurs running small businesses strengthen their financial situations in the post-pandemic era.
The training, organised by Absa Bank Kenya in partnership with the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), was part of the bank’s celebrations ahead of the International Women’s Day which celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.
Speaking during the final session of the county tour at the Safari Park hotel, Absa Bank’s Managing Director Jeremy Awori affirmed the bank’s commitment to empowering over one million Kenyan women entrepreneurs in the next five years, as part of its diversity and inclusion agenda, with the tools and resources they need to take their businesses to the next level.
“We are engaging women entrepreneurs through grassroots mentorship and networking platforms in partnership with like-minded stakeholders such as the KNCCI and other corporate clients to understand their fundamental needs. These engagements are crucial for us, as a bank, in developing holistic and tailor-made solutions that serve their unique and evolving needs,” said Mr Awori.
Among the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs beyond limited access to credit, was insufficient business development training to run sustainable businesses.
“We have a moral responsibility to be a diverse and financially inclusive bank. We are optimistic that these coaching and mentorship sessions shall create a positive and sustainable impact, not only to women entrepreneurs but also to our stakeholders, customers and society who benefit from a business environment that supports the growth and prosperity of women entrepreneurs,” he added.
According to the Central Bank of Kenya, women entrepreneurs account for slightly more than a third of all businesses (33%) and contribute to more than half of all business transactions in the country.
“We are proud to be collaborating with Absa once again in creating favourable commercial, trade and investment opportunities that redefine the future of women businesses and their contribution to the economy, not only in Nairobi but across the country,’’ said Nancy Muthoni, the National Vice Chair – Women in Business for the KNCCI.
Last year, the bank, in partnership with the KNCCI, upskilled over 1500 women entrepreneurs in the Mt. Kenya region, training them on business fundamentals such as sustainability, fundraising, bookkeeping, and networking to ensure profitable operations when running a business.
The forums will be extended to the rest of the regions across the country including Coast, Western, Nyanza and the Rift Valley regions.