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IFC in deal with bank for women enterprise funding

KCB branch
A KCB branch in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is offering technical advisory services to KCB Kenya #ticker:KCB to help it lend more to small and women-owned enterprises.

The advisory project will cost $200,000 (Sh21.2 million) and is the latest such undertaking with a local bank.

Other lenders that have signed advisory deals with the international financier include Equity #ticker:EQTY and Co-op Bank #ticker:COOP.

“This is a Banking on Women Advisory Services project with KCB Kenya and is designed to provide Banking on Women Advisory support in two key areas: (1) KCB Staff training (2) Design a training programme for KCB's women SMEs,” IFC said in a disclosure.

The global financier said the initiative will increase financing for businesses, ultimately creating more jobs and reducing poverty.

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The programme with KCB has been running since 2018 and is set to be concluded at the end of this month.

IFC defines SMEs using various measures including firms having between 10 and 300 employees or annual sales of Sh10 million to Sh1.5 billion. The loan size per borrower usually ranges from Sh1 million to Sh200 million.

“IFC analysed its client data over the past four years and found that loans to women-owned SMEs have lower non-performing loans across countries and over time,” the institution said.

“Banking on Women programme provides financing and expertise to an extensive network of financial institutions to help them acquire women-owned SME and retail customers — and profitably finance them.”

IFC has leveraged its existing lending relationships with Kenyan banks to offer them loans and advisory services.

The institutions have taken medium term loans running into billions of shillings from IFC for onward lending to specific client groups including SMEs.

One of the IFC’s loans to KCB, for instance, is a seven-year facility of $75 million (Sh8 billion).

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