Stanbic Bank Kenya has over the last three years funded over 45,000 women entrepreneurs to a tune of Sh6.9 billion.
Under the Dare to Aspire Dare to Achieve (DADA), the bank has additionally provided credit guarantee schemes of over Sh1 billion and over Sh40 million in grant funds.
The lender said the partnership has helped women entrepreneurs, youth and persons with disability to recover from the negative economic impact caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking during the lender's DADA third anniversary celebration in Nairobi, Stanbic Bank Kenya Chief Executive Charles Mudiwa said the lender was honoured to have had the opportunity to support women through its women's banking solution (DADA).
Malawi President Dr Joyce Banda who was the chief guest lauded Stanbic Bank’s commitment to invest in women’s economic empowerment, noting that it contributes toward gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth.
Speaking online, she said women make a considerable contribution to economies whether in businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs or as employees.
“It is paramount to continuously support programmes which promote women’s ability to secure decent jobs, achieve financial freedom and accumulate assets which are key determinants of growth and development,” she said.
The event was attended by top women entrepreneurs including Melvin Marsh International Ltd chief executive Ms Flora Mutahi, Space and Style founder and chief executive Ms Winnie Ngumi, Meditrust Hospital boss Ms Pamela Makokha and Ms Margaret Kamau, the proprietor, Zarusa Trends who shared the entrepreneurial journeys, wins and lessons.
Mr Mudiwa said innovative financial solutions including digital lending, Unayo, M-Jeki and Stansure have been instrumental in increasing access to finance and relevant financial solutions for women business owners.
The bank has also been providing digital cash advances and unsecured loans for women.
To support women with asset acquisition, Mudiwa said the lender provides 100 per cent Vehicle Asset Financing at discounted rates in partnership with select car dealers - incorporating DADA-specific auto insurance and a 60-day grace payment period. The bank also provides 105 mortgage financing with zero fees.
Under the credit guarantee scheme, the bank is working with the African Guarantee Fund (AGF) and the State with discussions underway to engage other entities.
On providing grants and catalytic funding, Stanbic Bank is collaborating with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) and US African Development Foundation.
The bank is working in partnership with the Ministry of Trade and counties to boost entrepreneurship, the employability of citizens through digital literacy and upskilling, career development, and provision of funds (grants) and access to job markets.