Absa Bank Kenya in partnership with GIZ, the German Development Corporation launched a 50 Million training initiative targeting 1500 women running Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.
The initiative’s main goal is to equip women in entrepreneurship with skills to help them cope and grow through and post the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic, which appears to be far from over has negatively affected the economy highly impacting the small business environment.
According to Absa’s Business Banking Director, Elizabeth Wasunna, Absa aims to reduce inequality in society. This initiative, dubbed ‘SHE Stars’ will help them do that by training women entrepreneurs in financial literacy and making financial services more accessible.
Wasunna emphasized the importance of small business registration and formalizing business operations.
“We need to encourage as many women entrepreneurs as possible to register their businesses, formalize their operations and maintain good records of their transactions.” Wasunna.
Employment and Development Skills In Africa
The ‘SHE Stars’ partnership initiative is under Employment and Development Skills in Africa, a program commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
‘SHE Stars’ business skills training will be done online and through face-to-face workshops and targets women in different sectors of the economy. The training will be addressing business issues such as mentorship, access to finance, information, and markets.
However, the initiative will specifically target the business impacts Covid-19 has had on small businesses addressing the coping and adaptation measures developed.
Data shows that there are 517,000 women-led businesses in Kenya and 33% of these businesses are small businesses.
A representative of GIZ emphasized the financial impact women-led enterprises have on the national economy and on households showing the importance of the training to these enterprises in Kenya.
He went on to say that the partnership aims to address the challenges that prevent the women from realizing their full potential in business such as capacity, structural and financial challenges.
The trainees will be taught important business aspects such as cash flow analysis, income diversification, risk management, people management, leadership, branding, and business financing. Apart from the training, the initiative will also provide loan facilities for the beneficiaries.
All the 1500 beneficiaries will be enrolled in a Technical Business Management program that is facilitated under the Absa SHE Business Academy by Yunus Environment Hub.