Absa Launches Programme Targeting 30,000 Women in Western Kenya

Absa Bank Kenya has joined forces with the Office of the President, in collaboration with the Women’s Rights Advisor and Africa Guarantee Fund (AGF) for a product dubbed Empower Her County Programme targeting women.

The new program is designed to empower women-led micro, small, and medium-sized businesses spanning Kakamega, Bungoma, and Vihiga counties.

This initiative aims to tackle gender-based inequalities and economic hurdles faced by women entrepreneurs, propelling them towards sustainable entrepreneurship by equipping them with essential tools and resources.

Upskilling of Businesses

It will facilitate the upskilling of businesses, enhance resilience, and enable these enterprises to thrive in today’s fiercely competitive business landscape.

The curriculum will feature the ‘Start and Improve our Business (SIYB) module,’ a renowned global business management training program developed by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

During the launch event held at Masinde Muliro University, Harriette Chiggai, the President’s Women Rights Advisor, underscored the significance of the Empower Her County Programme in supporting women-led MSMEs at the grassroots level.

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Harriette Chiggai challenged institutions ranging from governmental bodies and the private sector to craft programs that cater to the needs of women entrepreneurs.

Chiggai is the President’s Women’s Rights Advisor and spoke during the launch of the event at Masinde Muliro University.

Absa Launches Programme Targeting 30,000 Women in Western Kenya
An aerial view of Masinde Muliro University in Kakamega County

“My Office is partnering with private-sector entities to curate programs that can reach women at the grassroots.

The President created the office of the Women’s Rights Advisor, to show his commitment towards every Kenyan woman and girl,” said Chiggai.

Packages Contained in The Programme

The programme includes training on business registration, taxation, marketing, savings and investment, budgeting, and financial planning.

Other packages are bookkeeping, digitization of businesses, market linkages beyond counties, and cross-border training.

In her address, Absa Bank’s Business Banking Director, Elizabeth Wasunna-Ochwa said the lender is inclined to bridge the gender gap through economic empowerment as a means to drive sustainable development goals in the country.

The programme, according to Wasunna-Ochwa, aligns with the bank’s vision to support over one million women entrepreneurs by 2025.

“We are providing them (women entrepreneurs) with access to market information, markets for their products and services, coaching and mentorship, and business networks, as well as providing the capital required to scale their businesses to the next level,” said Wasunna-Ochwa.

According to the International Labour Organization and the Women’s Empowerment Index 2020 by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the need for empowering women at the grassroots level becomes abundantly clear.

The programme will also be looking at addressing the daunting statistics which indicate that a significant portion of women are employed in the informal sectors, contributing to the high poverty levels globally.

Wasunna-Ochwa said the programme will be rolled out across all 47 counties.

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Lawrence Baraza

Lawrence Baraza is a dynamic journalist currently overseeing content at Metropol TV Digital. With a keen focus on business news and analytics, Lawrence guides the platform in delivering insightful, data-driven content that empowers its audience to make informed decisions. Lawrence’s commitment to quality and his ability to anticipate market trends make him a key figure in the digital media landscape. His work continues to shape the way business news is consumed, making a significant impact in the field.

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