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Over 200 women entrepreneurs benefit from Absa Bank's She Stars programme

Absa Bank Director Dr Lailla Macharia awards Jacquline Malomba at Movenpick on November 25, 2022. [Silas Otieno, Standard]

Absa Bank’s SHE Stars Programme has graduated its first cohort of 257 women entrepreneurs who went through blended finance and business development services capacity building.

The capacity building is aimed at increasing the growth and competitiveness of women-owned micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

Speaking during the graduation ceremony at a Nairobi Hotel, Absa Bank’s Business Banking Director Elizabeth Wasunna reiterated the lender’s commitment to empowering women entrepreneurs with the necessary financial and non-financial resources.

This, she noted, will enable them to sustainably grow their businesses and compete effectively in the business world. “It is through the SHE Star programme that we are taking steps to address these historical challenges that women entrepreneurs face,” said Elizabeth Wasunna, business banking director at Absa Bank Kenya.

“As Absa, we congratulate our graduates from the first and second cohorts and urge them to serve as a beacon of hope to other entrepreneurs looking to break the ceiling.”

The Absa SHE Star programme – launched last year – brings together Absa, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Employment and Skills for Development in Africa (E4D) Programme that is supported by Yunus Environment Hub.

It aims to fast-track the economic recovery of 1,500 women-owned micro, small and medium businesses adversely affected by Covid. The SHE Star graduates were enrolled in a 12-week technical business management programme facilitated by Yunus Environment Hub under the Absa SHE Business Academy.

Graduates were taken through courses on cash flow analysis, risk management, income diversification, branding, fundraising, leadership, and people management.