NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 6 – KCB Group is seeking to deepen its new women proposition, committing billions of shillings towards funding women owned and women run enterprises.
The Bank said the drive is meant to strengthen its diversity and inclusivity focus as part of its sustainability agenda by simplifying financial inclusion for women.
The programme dubbed Women Value Proposition has seen the Bank disburse loans worth Kshs 7.1 billion to 1,400 women to date, KCB said in its current Sustainability Report for 2018. It is aimed at increasing credit facilities to women alongside, providing them with both technical and non-financial support.
The initiative is in line with KCB Sustainability 10-point action plan on Diversity and inclusion. This pillar aims to incorporate gender diversity as part of its strategic initiative to ensure that we encourage more women to take up key roles in business ventures.
“KCB is committed to making financial services more accessible and improving financial literacy. We are exploring possibilities that would reduce inequalities within the society and at the enable their economic development,” said Joshua Oigara, KCB Group CEO and MD.
Within the program, the women go through a financial literacy training and capacity-building program in order to sensitize them on financial empowerment before the disbursement of loans. The Bank attributes the 100 percent repayment rate success to the financial education foundation set during the empowerment program.
The Bank’s Sustainability Agenda is aimed at further helping drive the Sustainable Development Goals, which are meant to eradicate an array of issues that include reducing poverty, hunger, disease, gender inequality, and access to water and sanitation.
KCB Group takes great pride in being among the major Kenyan corporates who monitor and report the progress of their sustainability initiatives. In period under review, the Bank recorded significant milestones in key areas among them a 23% reduction in its carbon footprint that is tracked and measured on a quarterly basis in all its operations.
According to the report, the value of facilities that have undergone Social and Environmental Due Diligence (SEDD) Assessments amount to Sh126.7Billion. This is part of the bank’s commitment to enhance responsible lending and green financing in the fight towards climate change, address governance issues as well as society considerations.
Screening is done to avoid and manage loans with potential social and environmental risks by conducting social and environmental due diligence prior to loan disbursement as well as addressing remedial measures that have been documented in the process.
Under this pillar, KCB has continually committed to contribute to the green economy by deepening its focus on funding projects that have a positive environmental and social impact in the East African industry and beyond. The Bank is collaborating with other industry players to raise the first Green Bonds in the region for environmentally friendly projects by the year 2020.
In addition, KCB Group has been at the forefront of driving Kenya’s banking sector to adopt and endorse the United Nations Environmental Programme – Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI) Principles for Responsible Banking during the launch in September in New York at the UN General Assembly to be presided over by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres.