Absa Bank Kenya has reiterated its pledge to enhance economic inclusion by increasing access by all enterprises across board to financial services, including affordable credit.

In its Absa 2022 Sustainability Report, the Kenyan financial institution indicated that it is also ameliorating its business approaches to accord women equal rights to financial services.

Being one of the largest financial institutions in Kenya, Absa pledges to play a bigger role in supporting the country’s development agenda by creating social impact as a force for good.

Through its “force for good” agenda, the bank intends to deliberately create value for society through its business model focusing on financial inclusion and social investments.

In its inclusive financing agenda endeavor, Absa got funding partners to enable businesses that need specific consideration outside the normal banking requirements to access finance.

In 2022, Absa accessed a Sh34.7 million in grant to support women-led businesses in collaboration with GIZ and Sh32.1 million to empower youth and start-ups from the African Guarantee Fund.

Absa Bank Kenya’s SHE Stars Academy has so far received a total of 2,150 applications with 1,281 of them actively participating in the programme since it was inaugurated in 2021.

The Absa SHE STARS Program supports female entrepreneurs from varied sectors in Kenya to overcome some of the most prevalent challenges facing women in the business world.

Absa boasts of disbursing a whopping Sh58 million in loans Year To Date (YTD) towards enhancing its ambitious agenda on financial inclusion and spurring economic growth.

“We have further championed inclusive financing through innovative product and service offerings for SMEs, retail customers and underserved markets, enterprise development, knowledge and equipping customers to drive financial growth,” states Absa in its report.

The bank provides inclusive financial services to SMEs, women and youth and supports skills development and education including financial literacy, tertiary education and vocational training.

Front row - Absa Bank's Business Banking Director Elizabeth Wasunna, CEO Abdi Mohamed, GIZ Country Director Bob Immink, Yunus Environment Hub's Chair Muhammad Yunus and MD Christina Jager pose with graduates. PHOTO/ABSA

Absa says it fosters an all-inclusive economic development through a three-pronged approach to inclusive financing, which seeks to:

• Contribute to enhanced African competitiveness through thought leadership, advocacy and investment vehicles that promote trade within the region and at a global scale.

• Provide innovative, relevant and cost-efficient banking propositions to our entry-level banking customers and small and medium business customers.

• Promote self-sufficient communities by supporting the growth of emerging entrepreneurs.

• In promoting responsible and inclusive procurement practices, the Absa online procurement portal provides additional opportunities for Africa’s Medium, Small and Micro-Enterprises (MSMEs) – key drivers of post-pandemic growth. The platform allows MSMEs to access corporate supply opportunities, and at the same time enabling us to further contribute to ongoing entrepreneurship development.