Absa Bank Kenya has announced a KES100 billion funding commitment to spur the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) across various value chains over the next three years.
The funding line is expected to improve the resilience of the sector by offering ready access to working capital, further cementing the Bank’s role in catalysing Kenya’s economic growth and development.
Speaking during the Bank’s Annual Business Club Forum, Absa Bank Kenya’s Managing Director and CEO, Abdi Mohamed, underscored the organisation’s commitment to continue investing in the growth of the country’s MSME sector.
“As a Bank, we are fully cognizant of the immense contribution that MSMEs make to Kenya’s economy through job creation and their contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). We particularly recognise the need to avail sustainable finance solutions and expertise to cushion these businesses in times of unexpected downturns. The support we are committing today aims to ensure that MSMEs have ready access to capital that enhances their resilience,” said Abdi.
“Furthermore, the commitment we have made today complements our four-pronged approach for our SME customers, which includes access to markets, access to information, access to mentorship and coaching, and access to sustainable finance. This commitment also aligns with our broader strategy to contribute to the nation’s economic development by enabling enterprises to thrive,” Abdi added.
Speaking at the event on behalf of Simon Chelugui, the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Cooperatives and MSMEs Development, Henry Rithaa, Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the Micro and Small Enterprises Authority (MSEA), said, “The Ministry has set several key initiatives to ensure the creation of an environment in which MSMEs can thrive and achieve their full potential.
“One of the key targets the Ministry is revitalising priority value chains that create impact, reduce wastage and duplication in our economy.”
“The priority value chains we are focusing on include leather, cotton, dairy, edible oils, tea, rice, the blue economy, minerals, forestry, as well as building materials. We believe these sectors have the potential to create millions of jobs far beyond what we have recorded so far,” he said.
The session was organised to discuss opportunities for businesses, and more so the SMEs, to thrive amidst the prevailing challenging operating environment.
“In this so-called Brittle, Anxious, Non-linear, and Incomprehensible (BANI) world, we have the opportunity to reinvent, reimagine, and reinvigorate our businesses to thrive in this new reality. As we navigate through these uncertain times, we must not only adapt but also embrace these changes and seize the opportunities that come with them,” said Abdi.
Absa’s latest commitment comes on the back of its recent launch of the Wezesha Stock proposition, a real-time digital platform, which provides inventory management and trading for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).