NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 25 – Absa Bank Kenya has announced a Sh10 billion fund to advance credit to women entrepreneurs over the next 5 years as part of the new customer value propositions under the Absa brand.
The Bank’s Managing Director Jeremy Awori says the money will be availed to women entrepreneurs through the existing banking products including unsecured and secured loans, trade finance, asset finance, property finance and working capital facilities.
“We have started off a committed fund of Sh10billion, but we will raise it depending on customer demand and the two loans are to ensure we enhance diversity and inclusion and support women entrepreneurs who are driving the economy.
At the same time, the bank announced the launch of the Wezesha Express, a new proposition designed to speed up the turn-around-time for processing loans.
Under the proposition, the bank committed to processing SME loans of up to Sh3 million within 48 hours, from application to having the money in the account.
The bank’s Director of Business Banking Elizabeth Wasuna added that the Wezesha express is opened to general SME community in Kenya aimed for women entrepreneurs to access loans faster with a turn.
“This loan facility is one has a turnaround time of 48 hours, and maximum is Sh3million with a return period of 3 years,” said Wasuna.
The bank is targeting 10,000 women with the loan facilities to be charged at interest rates of Sh13 percent per annum.
The new loan facility comes at a time when women have often complained of lacking funds to spur their business.
The proposition comes a week after the bank started trading as ABSA Bank Kenya at the Nairobi Securities Exchange.
The change of ticker came after the lender concluded its re-branding process in Kenya, an initiative which commenced early 2018.
The re-branding is expected in to be implemented across 12 countries on the continent Africa where it has operating as Barclays Bank.