By John Kariuki
Stanbic Bank Kenya has over the last three years impacted more than 45,000 women entrepreneurs by enhancing financial inclusion and providing innovative solutions which have enabled Dadas access Kshs 6.9 billion in lending.
The bank has additionally provided credit guarantee schemes to the tune of over Kshs 1 billion and over Kshs 40 million in grant funds. Under the credit guarantee scheme, the bank is working with the African Guarantee Fund (AGF) and the Government of Kenya with discussions underway to engage other entities. On providing grants and catalytic funding, Stanbic Bank is collaborating with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) and United States African Development Foundation (USADF).
Stanbic Bank’s innovative financial solutions including digital lending, Unayo, M-Jeki and Stansure have been instrumental in increasing access to finance and relevant financial solutions for women business owners. The bank has also been providing digital cash advance and unsecured loans for women.
In order to support women with asset acquisition, Stanbic Bank provides 100% Vehicle Asset Financing (VAF) at discounted rates in partnership with select car dealers incorporating DADA specific auto insurance and a 60-day grace payment period. The bank also provides 105% mortgage financing with zero fees.
Speaking at DADA’s ’s 3rd Anniversary, a celebration of the milestones that have positively impacted women-led businesses through financial inclusion, the 4th President of the Republic of Malawi, H.E.Hon Dr. Joyce Banda commended Stanbic Bank’s commitment to invest in women’s economic empowerment as a step in the right direction as it contributes towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth. Women, she added, make considerable contribution to economies whether in businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs or employees.
“ It is paramount to continuously support programs which promote women’s ability to secure decent jobs, achieve financial freedom and accumulate assets which are key determinants of growth and development,” she said, while congratulating the bank for positively impacting and transforming the lives of women.
The event held in Nairobi was also attended by Prof Margaret Kobia, EGH, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Public Service and Gender, Hon. Betty Maina, EGH, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development, Ms. Anna Mutavati UN Women Country Representative, and Mr. Charles Mudiwa, Stanbic Bank Kenya Chief Executive.
Mr. Mudiwa said Stanbic Bank was honored to have had the opportunity to support women through its women banking solution, DADA (Dare to Aspire Dare to Achieve).
The bank is also currently working in partnership with the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development (MoITED) and County Governments to boost entrepreneurship, the employability of citizens through digital literacy and upskilling, career development, and provision of funds (grants) and access to job markets. The partnership which came into force in early 2021 has helped women entrepreneurs, youth and differently-abled persons to recover from the negative economic impact brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stanbic Bank is also a signatory of the Women Empowerment Principles (WEPS), reinforcing the institution’s unwavering support towards women. The WEPs, established by the UN Global Compact and UN Women, are a set of standards that provide businesses with guidance on how to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community.
As an institution which is committed to being more than a provider of financial solutions, Stanbic is a catalyst for economic change and development of commercially sound ways to address environmental and social challenges, accelerating economic growth and human development, making life better for communities.
With an objective to create shared value benefiting society while achieving targeted financial returns, the bank’s strategic value drivers are a crucial implementing agent to effectively embed Social Economic and Environmental (SEE) considerations in the work it does. Focusing on seven impact areas under the SEE, the bank has committed to several other voluntary global standards regarding responsible business practice, including the UN Principles for Responsible Banking, the Equator Principles, the UN Women He4She initiative, the Sourcing2Equal Kenya (S2E), the United Nations Sustainable Goals (UNSDGs) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
As a way of supporting women grow, the bank has been providing training and capacity building which have so far benefitted more than 17,000 women. This has mainly been delivered through education and information platforms which cut across different industries as well as networking sessions with like-minded and seasoned entrepreneurs. Further to this, Stanbic has conducted wellness sessions incorporating mental health and cancer screening, with more than 16,000 women receiving free cancer check-ups.
The event was also attended by key women entrepreneurs; Ms. Flora Mutahi, CEO Melvin, Marsh International Limited, Ms. Winnie Ngumi Managing Director & CEO Space & Style, Ms. Pamela Makokha, CEO, Meditrust Hospital and Ms. Margaret Kamau, proprietor, Zarusa Trends who shared the entrepreneurial journeys, wins and lessons.