- The National Bank of Kenya has launched a $70 million new initiative aimed at empowering women entrepreneurs in the country.
- The Nia Offering will provide a range of financial solutions, including business loans, asset financing, and overdraft facilities, to help women entrepreneurs meet their business needs.
- The programme will also offer technical assistance to help them develop their business plans, improve their financial management skills, and enhance their marketing and branding strategies.
The National Bank of Kenya has launched a $70 million new initiative aimed at empowering women entrepreneurs in the country.
Dubbed “Nia” the initiative seeks to provide women owned and women led enterprises with access to financial support, capacity building, and mentorship to enable them sustainability grow their businesses and achieve their full potential while creating new job opportunities and scaling the national economic contribution.
The Nia Offering will provide a range of financial solutions, including business loans, asset financing, and overdraft facilities, to help women entrepreneurs meet their business needs. The programme will also offer technical assistance to help them develop their business plans, improve their financial management skills, and enhance their marketing and branding strategies.
Through the Nia Offering, Women Enterprises will have accelerated access to financing from the $50 million NBK Majikonnect Program supporting Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, with African Guarantee Fund collateral cover for up to 75 percent, and the $20 million NBK Elimukonnect Program supporting the Education Sector and Schools.
The NBK Women in Business Value Proposition is a strategic move by the Bank to support women-led businesses in the country, even as it recognizes the critical role that women play in driving economic growth and development.
Speaking during the launch, NBK Managing Director George Odhiambo said the lender is committed to supporting women-led businesses and empowering women entrepreneurs in the country. In this regard, the launch of Nia is a significant step towards achieving this goal and driving economic growth and development in Kenya.
“We are excited to launch Nia, which is part of our commitment to supporting women-led businesses in Kenya. We recognize that women entrepreneurs face unique challenges in accessing finance and growing their businesses. Our goal is to offer them the support they need to overcome these obstacles and achieve their full potential. By providing women entrepreneurs with the resources they need to succeed, we hope to create a more vibrant and prosperous economy for all,” said Mr. Odhiambo.
To ensure the success of Nia, the Bank will also offer mentorship support to women entrepreneurs. As part of the Nia Offering, the bank has also launched “You’ve Got business”, a digital property connecting upcoming female entrepreneurs with experienced business leaders who will offer guidance and advice on how to grow their businesses and overcome any challenges they may face.
“We have worked with our partners to co-create the ‘You’ve Got Business show’ to give a platform for aspiring entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas to a panel of Kenyan business moguls who can either fund their businesses or offer mentorship where they cannot invest. The show is in line with NBK’s initiative that aims at creating job opportunities for the youth and skilling them for self-employment while at the same time providing funding, nurturing and mentoring future entrepreneurs.” Mr. Odhiambo concluded.
The Nia Offering is open to all women entrepreneurs in Kenya, regardless of their sector or industry and will be available at every stage of development
National Bank has a long-standing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the launch of its women proposition products and services is the latest step in its efforts to support underrepresented groups in the business community.
Women are starting and growing businesses at a remarkable rate. According to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), women owned firms represent up to 38 percent of all registered small businesses worldwide.
According to the global lender, although a growing number of policies and programs are arising to address the needs of the growing number of women business owners and their enterprises worldwide, access to finance is still the single biggest obstacle facing women entrepreneurs
“In Kenya, 48 percent of business owners are women, yet they have 7 percent of formal credit and own just one percent of land,” IFC says.