Over 21,000 SMEs and individuals have so far benefited from Stanbic Bank Kenya’s Accelerate Program. This is is according to the banks’ 2020 integrated sustainability report released today.
The Report to Society highlights the Bank’s contribution to driving the country’s economic growth in seven key areas which include Education, Job Creation and Enterprise Development, Financial Inclusion, Health, Infrastructure, Trade and Investment as well as Climate Change and Sustainable Financing. The report, the bank says also demonstrates its objective to create shared value by supporting the core pillars of the society while also realizing targeted financial returns.
The Accelerate Program seeks to position Kenyan businesses for success by providing individuals and enterprises with digital literacy and career development training, as well as funding and access to job markets. It was achieved through a Public Private Partnership between the Stanbic Kenya Foundation, the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development and Microsoft Kenya.
Through their Financial Fitness Academy (FFA), the Bank has supported individuals and SMEs to understand how to better manage their wealth. The Bank also partnered with Microsoft and established the e-learning platform www.futurenidigital.org for community training as well as up-skilling people who have lost jobs due to Covid-19.
“Our goal of establishing the Accelerate Program was to address a significant skills gap in the country by boosting entrepreneurship and the employability of citizens. Over the years, we have been able to empower individuals to do more and become digitally proficient, reskill the Kenyan workforce who lost their jobs during the pandemic and further ensure SMEs remain connected to their customers and have access to new markets.” Stanbic Bank Kenya Head of Foundation, Pauline Mbayah said.
Highlighting other key achievements on the report, the Bank restructured loans to the value of Ksh 40billion, extended repayment holiday to 7,203 clients and lowered interest rates saving customers Ksh 665million. On Infrastructure, Trade and Investment, the Bank issued Ksh 1billion as guarantees in support of transportation infrastructure development while on Trade and Investment, the Bank provided unsecured short-term financing for trade to Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) backed by Ksh 1billion in secured guarantees.
Under Health, the Stanbic Kenya Foundation has managed to contribute to strengthening the healthcare system of the country by contributing over Kshs 147million in partnership with corporates to provide 192 oxygen therapy units to the Ministry of Health and 1,000 handwashing stations to vulnerable communities across the country at the peak of the pandemic. The Foundation has also carried out over 3,000 cancer screenings for those with limited access to affordable healthcare and invested in improving testing capacity and hospital infrastructure, food donations and humanitarian support.
On Trade and Investment, the Bank has helped facilitate the deepening of investment and trade flows between Kenya and other African countries, and between Kenya and global markets. This earned them the recognition of Kenya’s Best Investment Bank by EuroMoney Awards for Excellence 2020. On infrastructure, Stanbic Bank has provided lending facilities for entities operating within key infrastructure sub sectors, including construction and cement, transportation and logistics for construction of roads across Kenya and South Sudan. Lastly, on Climate Change and Sustainable Financing, the Bank was the lead arranger for Ksh 5.7billion Green Bond by Acorn Holdings in Kenya in 2019. This was East Africa’s first-ever green bond, and the proceeds are going towards environmentally friendly student accommodation in Nairobi.
“As a bank, we made a pledge to catalyze Kenya’s socio-economic growth. We remain committed to this promise, and by collaborating with strategic partners from the government and private sector, we have managed to create an impact in the lives of many individuals and enterprises through our Social, Economic and Environment (SEE) initiatives.” Stanbic Bank Kenya Chief Executive, Mr. Charles Mudiwa said.