Co-Op Bank and IFC roll out countrywide training for MSMEs

Simon Mungai of Rivanas Supermarket Nakuru (centre) makes his contribution at Co-op Bank’s SME Customer Engagement Forum hosted at Sarova Woodlands Nakuru on Friday 8 March 2019. The Bank has rolled out a nationwide program to train and equip business owners with skills to navigate the changing operating environment in the economy. With him are Loise Ngugi of Gold Front Ltd (left) and Moses Gitau, Head of Business Banking at Co-op Bank. [Photo: Courtesy of Co-Op Bank]

The Co-operative Bank of Kenya has rolled out countrywide business sensitization campaign targeting Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.

According to a press statement from the bank, the initiative aims at empowering enterpreneurs with skills and strategies to survive business challenges and make profits. The first upcountry forum was held in Nakuru County coming a month later after another one in Nairobi.

While speaking during the Nakuru County MSME Customer Networking Forum, Co-op Bank Head of Business Banking Moses Gitau said that there are various financial measures in place to empower such businesses.

 “We have made available the Sh15.2 billion kitty for a package of loans that include an unsecured business loan, a first of its kind in Kenya, E-Credit through our MCo-opCash App where businesses are able to borrow up to Ksh. 2 million via their mobile phone, packaged insurance cover which are handpicked and specifically negotiated to suit various segments under MSME, revised and pre-approved limits on overdrafts and loans.,” said Gitau.

Ms. Judy Njenga of PopsyJudy Investment shares her entrepreneurial journey with other business owners at Co-op Bank’s SME Customer Engagement Forum hosted at the Sarova Woodlands Nakuru on Friday 8 March 2019. [Photo: Courtesy of Co-Op Bank]

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He added that the loans will be supported by trade services that encompasses Letters of Credit, guarantees, supply chain financing and many more.

The bank said that the forums are the fruits of partnership between it and International Finance Corporation, which was launched in 2018 founded with an objective of providing financial support and business advice to Kenyan MSMEs.

The two partners have set aside US$150 million (Sh15.2 billion) for the project, which they envisage as a game changer in building Kenyan economy.

According to the statement from Co-op Bank, the countrywide forum will also benefit the bank in uplifting potential customers, who will in turn raise their savings.

“The forums will be held across the country, and feature a detailed presentation by the bank economist on the opportunities in and out of the country that MSMEs can tap into and the ways the bank is working to enable customers to seize them,” reads their statement.

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MSMEsCo-operative BankMoses GitauInternational Finance CorporationTraining