Absa Bank Kenya has announced a Ksh. 100 billion funding commitment to help the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across various value chains over the next three years.

The funding line is expected to improve the resilience of SMEs by offering ready access to working capital.

Speaking during the Bank’s Annual Business Club Forum, Absa Bank Kenya’s Managing Director and CEO, Abdi Mohamed,“As a Bank, we are fully cognizant of the immense contribution that MSMEs make to Kenya’s economy through job creation and their contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). We particularly recognise the need to avail sustainable finance solutions and expertise to cushion these businesses in times of unexpected downturns. The commitment we have made today complements our four-pronged approach for our SME customers, which includes access to markets, access to information, access to mentorship and coaching, and access to sustainable finance.”

Speaking at the event on behalf of Simon Chelugui, the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Cooperatives and MSMEs Development, Henry Rithaa, Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the Micro and Small Enterprises Authority (MSEA), “The Ministry has set several key initiatives to ensure the creation of an environment in which MSMEs can thrive and achieve their full potential.”

“One of the key targets the Ministry is revitalising priority value chains that create impact, reduce wastage and duplication in our economy. The priority value chains we are focusing on include leather, cotton, dairy, edible oils, tea, rice, the blue economy, minerals, forestry, as well as building materials. We believe these sectors have the potential to create millions of jobs far beyond what we have recorded so far.”

The session was organised to discuss opportunities for businesses, and more so the SMEs, to thrive amidst the prevailing challenging operating environment. Absa’s latest commitment comes on the back of its recent launch of the Wezesha Stock proposition, a real-time digital platform, which provides inventory management and trading for small and medium enterprises.