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Absa eyes women SMEs with Sh10 billion fund

Margaret Kobia with Absa Bank Kenya CEO Jeremy Awori
Public Service and Gender CS Margaret Kobia with Absa Bank Kenya CEO Jeremy Awori during the signing of a Sh10 billion loan fund for women-led SMEs on February 25, 2020. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG 

Absa Bank Kenya has committed a Sh10 billion loan fund for women-led small and micro enterprises (SMEs) amid raising banking competition and calls for support of the sector by the government.

Customers will access loans of up to Sh3 million within a 48-hour turnaround period, facilitated through a new facility dubbed Wezesha Express.

The loans will be advanced at 13 percent interest rate and repaid within three years.

“The Wezesha Express is a new proposition we included because we know he customers need speed and efficiency. Customers will need to produce 12-month bank statements from any bank or M-Pesa transactions,” director of business banking at Absa Bank Kenya, Elizabeth Wasunna said.

“The kitty will be available to any woman who has a viable business plan and already doing business across all sectors.”

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The bank is targeting over 10,000 women by 2021.

The announcements on the kitty boost are expected to boost the lender’s existing Wezesha Biashara campaign that was launched in 2016 to target SMEs.

Recently, it revamped this financing product to include unsecured loans of up to Sh10 million with repayment period of six years, local purchase order financing and invoice discounting of up to Sh50 million.

Absa will also be training the women in a partnership deal with United States International University.

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