Barclays Bank Kenya has set aside a Ksh5 billion loan kitty to offer financial solutions to businesses owned or run by women as part of its efforts to support the growth and development of female entrepreneurs.
Barclays Bank of Kenya, Managing Director, Jeremy Awori made the announcement during the International forum on Women in Business forum which the bank hosted in partnership with the government and the International Trade Centre ahead of the 10th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation which runs from the 15th to the 18th of December.
“We are dedicating Sh 5 billion to specifically support women in business. We will also offer advisory services to these businesses and work in close concert with them to ensure they succeed,” Awori said.
The bank has further announced a partnership with the ITC that will see 10,000 women-led SMEs access capacity building skills including procurement and financial planning as part of the ITC Women and Trade Programme.
ITC will facilitate a section of these businesses to access regional and international trade opportunities.
The organisation has committed to bring at least 1 million new women entrepreneurs to market worldwide by 2020.
Awori said that Barclays is currently working on a partnership with the government to offer financial support to women and youth who win public contracts under the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities Initiative which requires that at least 30 per cent of contracts be awarded to the special interest groups.
“We are in conversation with government to provide unsecured lending to women, youth and People Living with Disabilities who win public contracts on the strength of their LPOs,” Awori