SUPPORT

Absa to train 1500 women entrepreneurs

It is aimed at increasing growth of these women-owned Micro, small and medium businesses impacted by the pandemic.

In Summary

•The analysis of the business impacts of Covid-19 and the development of coping and adaptation measures will be specifically targeted.

•The 1,500 SHE Stars will be enrolled in a Technical Business Management programme facilitated by Yunus Environment Hub under the Absa SHE Business Academy as part of the program.

Absa bank launch.
Absa bank launch.
Image: FILE

Absa Bank Kenya and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) have launched a Sh 50 million training support for small and medium scale women traders.

The support is aimed at helping them 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.

This, she said is aimed at reducing inequalities within the society. 

“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 is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. 

Dubbed 'SHE Stars', the project will offer a business skills training for 1,500 female entrepreneurs in various sectors of the economy. 

This will be 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.

According to a 2018 Central Bank of Kenya report, there are 517,000 registered women-owned businesses in Kenya, accounting for 33 per cent of all women-owned small and medium enterprises.

A separate study by the International Finance Corporation shows that more than 70 per cent of women-led SMEs in every region are either financially unserved or underserved.