Standard Chartered Kenya in partnership with Somo has unveiled an ‘Access to Finance Programme’ that will support disadvantaged women by giving them access to small ticket loans ranging from Ksh250,000 to Ksh2.5 million at a low interest rate of 5 percent.
The loans will benefit disadvantaged women by restoring and revitalising their businesses and will be payable over a period of up to three years.
Speaking during the launch, Joyce Kibe, Head of Corporate Affairs, Brand and Marketing Kenya and East Africa, said they are transforming society through their Futuremakers programmes that include their GOAL project, Youth Employability programmes, and Entrepreneurship programmes such as Women in Tech.
The three-year programme, worth Ksh60 million is part of the Futuremakers Entrepreneurship Programme, a global initiative to end poverty and is funded by Standard Chartered. Through our FutureMakers programmes, we empower the next generation to learn, earn and grow.
The programme aims to enhance entrepreneurship skills, empower the beneficiaries to grow their businesses in competitive sectors and support access to formal financing opportunities. The beneficiaries will therefore also receive mentorship, financial and business training to ensure long term support for their businesses and facilitate sustainable development.
Maureen Awino, the CEO and Founder, Modesh Bakers said she has immensely benefited from the skilling she has received from Somo and Standard Chartered Kenya as she got skilled in how to effectively run her business, they equipped her and taught her how to market. “I have also gained a lot of confidence as an entrepreneur which enables me sell effectively. With the funding received from this programme, I have been able to expand my product line to offer different types of cookies such as cricket cookies, cassava cookies and cakes. I also trained 80 women last year. Furthermore, the loan has enabled me to buy tables and chairs where my customers can now enjoy their pastries. This has led to an increase in my sales from 150 packets of cookies to 3,000 packets per week.”
The struggling businesses owned by disadvantaged women will be extended loans after an evaluation of their business models, immediate needs and growth plans.
While delivering the keynote address, the Head, Financial Markets, Kenya Ms. Nandhra Tanveer said “In line with the Bank’s brand promise – ‘Here for Good’, we are committed to going beyond banking to stand with the community to support them navigate the various challenges they are faced with. It is therefore with great pleasure that we extend these small ticket loans to support disadvantaged women based on their actual business needs and growth plans. Through this project we will empower them to rebuild their businesses and in so doing, improve the business environment which will in turn have a positive impact on the wider society.”