Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) and Gulf African Bank (GAB) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at boosting economic inclusion, empowerment of women, youth and persons with disabilities (PWD) owned SMEs as well as 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 Ksh 20 million for those with prior performance history and up to Ksh 3 million unsecured LPO business for starters registered under the KNCCI banner.
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.
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.
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“Training is critical in instilling financial prudence amongst Youth, Women and PWD owned SMEs. 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 programme to benefit women, youth and PWDs in the national economic space as well as organize a GAB – KNCCI Member forum for these groups.