Stanbic Bank Kenya and the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) have signed a partnership to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed at Busia Youth Polytechnic on the sidelines of the Lake Region Economic Block Private Sector Forum.

Stanbic Bank Kenya Head of Business and Commercial Clients, Ms Florence Wanja, noted that the deal will reinforce the bank’s commitment to empowering MSMEs in the region and across the country. “Stanbic Bank Kenya has continued to play a major role in our country’s economic development, and this is in line with our purpose which is to drive Kenya’s growth. As an institution, we remain committed to solving holistic needs of our SME client segment and partnering for sustainable growth,” Ms Wanja said.

SMEs contribute more than 30% of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and create close to 50% of new jobs every year, she added. Stanbic bank has successfully issued loans worth Ksh844 million to women entrepreneurs through the DADA proposition. The bank has also collaborated with the Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development to launch the FutureNiDigital campaign that has equipped 50,807 businesses and individuals with digital skills.

Mr Silivanus Mbogo Abungu, Chairman of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Busia, said the partnership is an endorsement of the fruitful collaboration over the years in supporting MSMEs in the region. “As a chamber, our focus is on building a vibrant and prosperous business community in the region and across the country. We remain committed to empowering our members in all possible ways,” he said while congratulating the bank on its recognition.

Besides the MoU, there were several panel discussions comprising of leaders drawn from various sectors. The event was graced by the Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Peter Munya, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Trade, Industrialization and Enterprise Development, Betty Maina and Kakamega County Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, among others.

Speaking in one of the panel discussions on “Partnerships, Funding and Financing to SMEs, Saccos and MSMEs”, Ms Wanja said the bank has consistently developed solutions to support MSMEs and other businesses across various sectors more so after the COVID-19 pandemic which negatively impacted businesses across the country. “We restructured loans and issued moratoriums to our customers incorporating repayment holidays. Out of the restructured loans worth Ksh40billion, Ksh3.1billion went to SMEs,” Ms. Wanja said.

The bank has also partnered with the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) to provide small businesses with access to markets and affordable financing while exposing them to digital technologies through a joint Ksh1 billion grant fund and have so far issued Ksh33million to MSMEs, cooperatives and producer groups in Kenya to help them grow their businesses.

Other panelists in the discussion included Mr Paul Russo, Managing Director National Bank of Kenya and the Group Regional Business Director, KCB Group Plc, Mr. George Ototo, as well as Managing Director, KUSCCO, Mr. Lwanga Mbeche, CEO, Kimisitu Sacco, CPA Rodgers Mulemi, Regional Director, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) and Ms. Betty Korir, CEO Credit Bank.

The keynote address was delivered by Mr Oparanya while the session was moderated by Mr Aleke Dondo, former MD Sidian Bank. After the Forum, there was an Award Gala Dinner  hosted by KNCCI Busia to recognize organizations contributing to economic growth. During this event, Stanbic Bank was named Partnership Bank of the Year in recognition of its effort to engage the Busia Chapter of the chamber of commerce o stimulate cross border trade of SMEs and MSMEs as well as trade within Busia County.

By Business today

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