, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 22- Marianne Nyangi, Head of Chase Woman at Chase Bank Kenya could not believe her eyes when she saw an official invitation from the White House to speak during the upcoming Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Nairobi.
“One morning I am stuck in traffic and I see an email from White House saying that I am invited to speak at the summit. I was like, oh my God, this is quite an opportunity,” she recalls with excitement during an interview with Capital FM Business.
Nyangi will be speaking on Women and Financial Inclusion at GES, a historic event which will be graced by the US President Barack Obama.
When I visit her office in Westlands, the dashing Nyangi is eagerly waiting for the summit and considering the magnitude of the event, she, like anyone else, is anxious.
“This is not a small thing and I guess I am still trying to internalize it even as I prepare for the Summit, what to speak and have an impact,” she says with a sigh.
With 15 years experience in banking and passionate about women issues Nyangi, was at the fore front in spearheading the inauguration of Chase Bank Women’s Programme in 2013, responsible for the execution of the Women Banking Strategy in the Kenyan market.
And even as she prepares for her presentation, Nyangi is quick to point out some of the challenges facing women in financial inclusion especially in Kenya and in the continent.
Lack of Collateral
A lot of women are struggling with access to finance. You find that most women don’t have the collateral; the traditional collateral that a man has, to access credit. They even don’t have education to know, ‘how do I keep my books in order to come to the banks.’ They are even scared of walking to the bank. And the best thing for them is to go to the ‘Chamas’, maybe borrow Sh10,000 or Sh20,000 and buy clothes, buy eggs, you know, small scale things. They end up not realizing that there is great potential to do great things.
Lack of information
When we talk of information, how does someone for example register a business and what is the process? Or if you want to do a public procurement, how do you go about it. You find that most of them don’t know. So a lot of women are just in the dark.
Lack of Networking
How do I as a woman know what my friend Naomi is doing and learn from her mistakes without repeating them and be able to run a proper business? For example what is Tabitha Karanja of Keroche doing that I can also do? Networking is all about bringing all these big experiences with the other guys who are starting up and being able to encourage each other. When I started doing women banking I never imagined we could be here, I mean I literary had sleepless nights. But you reading about it, talking to other women, getting exposure to go and see what others are doing has given me confidence over the years.
During this year’s GES Summit at least 175 local entrepreneurs out of the 1500 attending the event.