KITTY

Equity gets Sh8.25bn loan to support women traders

The lender's prudent approach to conserving its cashflow and supporting MSMEs has provided confidence to its lending partners

In Summary
  • The facility is earmarked to support Equity to scale up its lending activities to women owned small businesses in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and DRC.
  • In response to the Covid-19 crisis, Equity launched an offensive and defensive approach to support customers to sustain themselves.
African Guarantee Fund CEO Jules Ngankam and Equity Group CEO James Mwangi during official signing agreement of Sh8.25billion facility at Equity Head office, Nairobi on March 15 2021
African Guarantee Fund CEO Jules Ngankam and Equity Group CEO James Mwangi during official signing agreement of Sh8.25billion facility at Equity Head office, Nairobi on March 15 2021
Image: DOUGLAS OKIDDY

The African Guarantee Fund (AGF) and Equity Group have signed a  $75million(Sh8.25billion) guarantee fund deal to support women entrepreneurs

The fund will support Equity to scale up its lending activities to women owned Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and DRC.

With this facility,  we will be strongly positioned to continue to offer our customers particularly women in business access to funding at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact negatively on businesses,” said Equity Group's boss James Mwangi.

AGF Group chief executive Jules Ngankam said the partnership will foster sustainable development for women-led/owned businesses.

He said the women will be supported under  Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa initiative and Green Guarantee Facility.

Equity has responded to the Covid-19 crisis by supporting its customers to sustain themselves while innovating alongside MSMEs who are leveraging on the opportunities that have presented within the crisis.

It committed to loan repayment accommodation for up to 45 per cent of the customers whose cashflows and operation cycle were deemed likely to be negatively impacted during the pandemic.

In its third quarter 2020 results Equity reported a 30 per cent growth in its loan book in support of its customers.

Most of the new opportunities funded were in manufacturing of PPE’s, logistics, online businesses, agro-processing, fast moving consumer goods and agriculture value chains.

This is the fifth tranche for Equity Group after having signed a $50 million (Sh5.5billion) loan facility with IFC in September; a $100million(Sh11.0billion) from Proparco in October.

Two weeks ago it signed a 125 million(Sh16.5billion) loan facility with the European Investment Bank and a $100 Million (Sh11billion) Credit Facility with European Development Banks DEG, FMO and CDC-UK to fortify credit flows and liquidity to MSMEs totalling Sh52.25billion.