Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Gulf African Bank (GAB), aimed at boosting economic inclusion, empowerment of women, youth and persons with disabilities (PWD) owned SME’s.
The pact between the two aims at enhancing procurement opportunities for these special groups in Kenya – especially those with access to government tenders.
“The two have committed to work together in capacity building for youth and women professionals and entrepreneurs in the SME sector, as well as linking businesses to financial solutions, especially LPO financing. Gulf African Bank will offer unsecured LPO financing of up to 20 million for those with prior performance history and upto 3 million unsecured LPO business for starters registered under the KNCCI banner.” A statement from the chamber reads.
The partnership will serve to improve reach for KNCCI and GAB from membership database across various sectors including but not limited General Trade & Commodities, Telecommunication, Health, Agribusiness, Construction, Legal, Education and Clearing and Forwarding and Diaspora and local events and forum participation.
The Kenya National Chamber Of Commerce & Industry is a not-for-profit, autonomous private sector institution and Business Membership Organization (BMO) established in 1965. KNCCI’s principle business objectives include; lobbying for the formulation of policies that support business development, the establishment and maintenance of a business friendly legal and regulatory framework, advocacy for commerce and promotion of the welfare of the business community in Kenya. KNCCI was re-launched in 2014 and now has a countrywide outreach with 47 County Chapters whose membership constitutes the small, medium and large enterprises across different sectors of the economy.
Gulf African Bank has a long standing commitment towards including special groups in the financial sector. The institution is a signatory of the UN Women WEP (Women Empowerment Principles) as a promoter of enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women.
“The SME sector is a key focus area for us as a bank. As such, we look for like-minded partners like KNCCI with a core mandate of growing businesses; seeking to uplift special groups economically by linking them to economic resources, and offer training opportunities to bridge skill gaps to businesses in the broader SME sector. At GAB, we are proud to announce that through our intensive women and youth banking program, we take care of all this through our threefold strategic pillars – educate, empower and protect. Partnering with KNNCI will definitely expand this program further, said Abdalla Abdulkhalik, Managing Director Gulf African Bank during the ceremony.
Speaking during the signing ceremony KNCCI Chairman, Kiprono Kittony lauded the partnership, observing that it will be critical to growing the SME sector in Kenya. “Training is critical in instilling financial prudence amongst Youth, Women and PWD owned SME’s. This partnership will provide them with the critical training, access to financing and business opportunities to help them grow their enterprises”.
The partnership will also see KNCCI and GAB establish a program of collaboration in areas such as organizing of training programs & forums as well as putting in place a financial skills and knowledge transfer program to benefit women, youth and PWDs in the national economic space as well as organize a GAB – KNCCI Member forum for these groups.