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UBA Kenya lines up seed capital for 200 small businesses

United Bank of Africa Kenya Chief Executive Mr Chike Isiuwe. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

UBA Kenya Bank has lined up $500,000 (Sh571,000) each for 200 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) under this year’s Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme.

The latest award will deepen Kenya’s benefit from the programme that was founded in 2015 and has so far funded over 15,847 young entrepreneurs across 54 countries in Africa.

UBA Kenya Chief Executive Chike Isiuwe said the programme has in the last seven years disbursed $3.46 million (Sh395 million) to 692 Kenyan entrepreneurs.

He said in 2021 alone, the foundation disbursed $980,000 (Sh112 million) to 196 Kenyan entrepreneurs. This year, it targets to fund over 200 entrepreneurs as it aims to leverage to grow its SME base with a key focus on strategic partnerships in technology and product innovation.

The foundation also provides mentorship, capacity building and networking for the programme's beneficiaries.

The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme is part of UBA Kenya’s strategic initiatives focused on the growth of the SME sector in the country.

UBA started operations over 70 years ago in Nigeria and has since grown to have a presence in 20 African countries, Europe and North America.

The bank entered Kenya in 2009 and has over the years supported local corporates, SMEs and individuals through a range of financial products and services.

It recently opened new branches in Nakuru and Mombasa and plans to expand its network to other major towns by the end of this year.