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Stanbic Bank Takes Up Task Of Training Deaf Business Owners

The training will be conducted under Kenya Bankers Association Inuka SME Program which aims to reach 200 people

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Stanbic Bank Kenya has partnered with the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) to offer financial literacy training for SME business owners with hearing impairment. The participants are drawn from Kajiado, Kiambu and Nairobi environs.

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The training will be conducted under KBA’s Inuka SME Program, which aims to reach 200 hard of hearing business owners. Since 2018, the Association has been championing financial literacy training in conjunction with banks to upskill underbanked members of the public to be financially included and support business growth for banked MSMEs.

Through the Inuka SME Program, more than 50,000 MSMEs have been empowered with key skills and knowledge to enhance their capacity to access bank finance and run their businesses better.

Speaking during the opening ceremony on 6th October 2022, Stanbic Bank’s Head of Business and Commercial clients, Ms Florence Wanja, said an enabling environment is key for businesses growth. “It is for this reason that  we partnered with the Kenya Bankers Association to conduct this training,” she said. “It is the first-ever training for hard of hearing business owners in the Kenyan banking industry. Through this partnership, we aim to drive further entrench inclusion as a driver of economic development in the country.”

The Kenya Bankers Association has been a driving force of inclusivity in service delivery and has championed product development targeted at the deaf communities. For instance, they previously partnered with the Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Kenya, and Deaf eLimu Plus launched the Deaf Elimu Banking App, a self-training tool for bank-environment Kenyan Sign Language.

Speaking during the launch of the training, Kenya Bankers Association Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Habil Olaka, said this is a significant moment for the sector in advancing financial inclusion for deaf business owners. “The series of training reaffirms the industry’s commitment to supporting unbanked persons with disabilities to have knowledge on how to sustain their business in the long-term and bolster their ability to access credit from banks,” he said.

Ms Wanja of Stanbic Bank added: “We have developed several products and services to support SMEs, including the Pamoja Trader Business Account, which has several benefits, including free cash handling for deposits below Ksh500,000 in addition to personalised services, with the client, only paying for services utilised.”

Kenya has also made significant progress to ensure that the deaf members of society have access to information.

Globally, there is an urgent need for increased awareness of disability-inclusive development in line with the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which promotes the full integration of people living with disability in societies. According to the Borgen Project, there have been significant positive developments for deaf people in Sub-Saharan Africa in the last decade.

Kenya has also made significant progress to ensure that the deaf members of society have access to information. It includes the 2010 constitution that recognises sign language as the language of the deaf, an indigenous language and one of the languages for the parliament in Kenya. In addition, the Disability Act 2003 requires all public broadcasting stations to include sign language in their programming. However, there is room for further progression.

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KALU MENGOhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
Kalu Mengo is a Senior Reporter With Business Today. Email: [email protected]
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