Co-operative Bank has kicked off a countrywide campaign of training micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the counties.
The forums that started with Nakuru County last week, focus on training and equipping clients with skills and strategies to grow their businesses.
They are part of a $150 million (Sh15 billion) partnership programme between Co-op Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) launched mid last year to provide affordable financing and business training to Kenyan MSMEs.
The partnership has invested substantial resources on customer engagement and research work to understand dynamics of the critical business segment.
Co-op Bank said MSMEs are the bedrock of wealth creation as they account for over 90 per cent of Kenya’s private sector, employing over 15 million people in the 1.7 million registered and seven million unregistered businesses.
Speaking during the Nakuru County MSME Customer Networking Forum on Friday, the Co-op Bank Head of Business Banking Moses Gitau said the firm decided to revamp its MSME offering to meet the ever changing business needs.
“We have made available the Sh15.2 billion kitty for a package of loans that includes an unsecured business loan, a first of its kind in Kenya, and e-Credit through our MCo-opCash App where businesses are able to borrow up to Sh2 million via their mobile phone,” he said.
The package also includes insurance cover that is specifically negotiated to suit various segments under MSME, and revised and pre-approved limits on overdrafts and loans.
“The loans will be supported by trade services that include letters of credit, guarantees and supply chain financing, among others,” Mr Gitau added.
The forums will be held across the country and feature a detailed presentation by the bank’s economist on opportunities locally and abroad MSMEs can tap into, and ways the lender is working to enable customers seize them.
Also in the programme is a panel discussion with bank representatives and successful entrepreneurs, concluding with a networking session.
Speaking on key learnings from his entrepreneurship journey, David Kahura of Lanet Flour Mills said there is need for business people to have a hands-on approach to their enterprises.
“Training is key; always seek to better yourself, know how the industry works and understand Government regulations, especially the quality requirements. Most importantly, get a good financial partner who can walk the journey with you, one who understands your needs,” he said.