Kenya: Barclays set up €44.7m fund to support women entrepreneurs
The plan was announced on Monday by Barclays Kenya chief executive officer Jeremy Awori.Barclays Bank is setting up a Sh5 billion (€44.7 million) fund to finance women entrepreneurs in Kenya.
The plan was announced on Monday (December 14th) by Barclays Kenya chief executive officer Jeremy Awori during an International Forum on Women in Business.
"We are dedicating Sh5 billion to specifically support women in business. We will also offer advisory services to these businesses and work in close concert with them to ensure that they succeed,” said Mr Awori, quoted by the Daily Nation.
The bank has also partnered with the International Trade Centre to train over 10,000 women-led small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on procurement and financial planning to aid them access regional and international growth opportunities.
Also present at the forum, Kenyan deputy president William Ruto called on financial institutions to consider giving loans to women who lack collateral in order to help spur the country's economic growth.
He said the government is working closely with financial institutions to change the traditional credit access system and has undertaken initiatives to give loans to women and youth through the Women Enterprise Funds and Uwezo fund.
The Kenyan SME sector employs up to 85 per cent of the country’s workforce and contributes about 45 per cent to the gross domestic product, according to figures from the SME Expo. Women own less than half of the country’s SMEs (48 per cent).