The FINANCIAL -- IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, on May 13 announced an advisory services agreement with Chase Bank Kenya aimed at increasing access to finance for small and medium enterprises in Kenya, especially for women entrepreneurs.
IFC will provide advisory services over 15 months to help Chase Bank build its capacity to provide products and services for the women market. It aims to become the bank of choice for women in Kenya. This advisory project is linked to an IFC investment of $25 million, half of which will go to women-owned enterprises, according to IFC.
Women entrepreneurs make significant contributions to the Kenyan economy, with 48 percent of all businesses in the country owned by women. Yet, only 7.0 percent of women entrepreneurs in Kenya have access to formal credit—a major hurdle for women seeking to grow their businesses, increase production and expand employment
Greta Bull, Manager for the Financial Institutions Group Advisory Services in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, said “Women entrepreneurs are key drivers of economic growth in Kenya, but remain underserved in terms of access to finance. IFC’s advisory services will provide the necessary support for Chase Bank to grow its women markets segment and help women entrepreneurs in Kenya expand their businesses beyond the micro-enterprise level.”
Chase Bank Kenya, a locally owned bank with a strong SME segment franchise, set up the first women banking unit in the Kenya banking sector. Marianne Nyangi, Head of Chase Woman at Chase Bank Kenya, said “Women customers who fit the criteria will be able to access affordable lending through Chase Bank, creating opportunities for business development and income generation for women at all stages of their lives.”
IFC will provide advice and training to both bank staff and customers on credit analysis, gender awareness and sales, and business management.