Abby Bonello, Head of Design & Communications
13 Dec 2022
Absa Bank Kenya, Melanin Kapital and African Guarantee Fund partner to grow women-led SMEs
Absa Bank Kenya has today partnered with financial technology platform Melanin Kapital and the African Guarantee Fund (AGF) to improve access to finance for women-owned and led SMEs through the joint program, ‘TUUNGANE 2XNa Absa.’
Initially, over 600 SMEs will be invited to go through the digital credit process and credit-readiness program run by Melanin Kapital, apply for a loan from Absa Bank that will be guaranteed by the AGF. The targeted businesses will have access to Absa loans starting from Ksh 1 million worth of capital to scale their activities.
In addition to financing, the program will provide these SMEs, mostly women SMEs, with sustainability training, capacity building, mentor matchmaking and networking activities to prepare them to get access to credit and grow their business sustainably.
Absa recognizes that as a financial service institution, they have a huge role to play in sustainability especially in supporting the underserved businesses that have no access to finance.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Absa Bank’s Business Banking Director Elizabeth Wasunna said: “As a bank, we remain committed to fully supporting SMEs as they contend with unique financial constraints such as inflation, rising dollar rates and various global shocks that are affecting their operations and services. As a partner for their growth, we have maintained focus on addressing the systemic barriers that stunt their growth through different channels, including strategic partnerships that bring their possibilities to life.”
On her part, the African Guarantee Fund’s Group Director of Structured Finance Nishdeep Sethi said the unique partnership brings together four major types of entities with a common goal of impacting women SMEs.
“As the implementing partner of the Guarantee for Growth program under the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative, AGF is very delighted to be part of this collaboration that goes a long way in enabling us meet our goal of bridging the gender financing gap in Africa. Our partnership with Absa Bank Kenya and Melanin Kapital will support women SMEs by not only unlocking financing but also providing technical assistance which are both two key pillars of the AFAWA program,” said Ms. Sethi.
Speaking at the same event, Melanin Kapital chief executive officer, Melanie Keita said: “It is a great milestone for a fintech like Melanin Kapital to partner with international organizations like Absa and AGF to be able to use our technology to enhance financial inclusion in the country, in particular for women businesses. Our team remains convinced that innovative partnerships like those between fintech’s and traditional financial institutions can help drive more financing towards the most underserved communities. We look forward to more partnerships to be able to finance an inclusive and green economy across the region.”
African Guarantee Fund: Diana Aluga | firstname.lastname@example.org
Absa Bank Kenya: email@example.com
Melanin Kapital: Ephantus Kariuki firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to Editors
About Absa Bank Kenya PLCAbsa Bank Kenya Plc is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange and is one of Kenya’s leading financial institutions. The Bank has been a major player in Kenya’s financial landscape, engaged in personal and institutional banking, bancassurance and asset management. The Bank has a regional and global footprint which enables it to offer end-to-end financial solutions to retail and institutional clients. It has also been associated with a number of market firsts, such as the launch of the first ATM, WhatsApp banking, Sharia-compliant banking and unsecured lending. Absa Bank Kenya has presence in 38 counties. It has 83 branches, 208 ATMs and a robust Internet and mobile banking platform. The bank’s purpose is to bring possibilities to life.
Melanin KapitalMelanin Kapital is a fintech solution offering a green financing platform helping SMEs to get access to credit to finance their green transition and grow their businesses. Melanin Kapital collaborates with development finance institutions, e.g., GIZ, USAID and AGF as well as financial institutions like Absa to finance today the Africa we want tomorrow, one entrepreneur at a time.
About African Guarantee Fund
African Guarantee Fund is a specialized guarantee provider with the mandate to increase African SMEs’ access to financing by providing partial guarantees or risk sharing facilities to SME lenders.
With an AA-Fitch rating, AGF’s guarantees provide significant risk mitigation and capital relief to partner financial institutions on their SME loan portfolios.
AGF also provides capacity development assistance to its Partner Financial Institutions to help them improve their SME lending capabilities.
Since inception, AGF has issued a guarantee portfolio of c. USD 1.8 billion of guarantee contracts that have unlocked more than USD 3 billion SME financing, through partnerships with 200 partner financial institutions across 40 African countries.
As a 2X Challenge qualified institution, AGF is committed to support women-owned and women-led businesses through the AFAWA Guarantee for Growth program which aims to unlock up to USD 5 billion for African women businesses by 2026.
AGF fosters sustainable growth by offering a Green Guarantee Facility to lending institutions to enable them ease access to finance for SMEs investing in climate and green growth-oriented economy.
AGF was established in 2011 by the Government of Denmark (represented by DANIDA), the Government of Spain (represented by AECID) and the African Development Bank (AfDB), with a mandate of facilitating access to finance for SMEs to enable them fully play their role of driving the growth of African economies.
Other shareholders include: French Development Agency (AFD), Nordic Development Fund (NDF), Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU), KFW Development Bank (KFW) and Proparco. AGF is also sponsored by Global Affaires Canada and USAID’s West Africa Trade & Investment Hub.
For more information visit: www.agf.africa
About the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA)Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) is a pan-African initiative of the African Development Bank, which aims to reduce the estimated USD 42 billion financing gap that affects women entrepreneurs in Africa. AFAWA offers a multi-pronged approach to address the constraints women entrepreneurs face in Africa, taking advantage of all the Bank’s financial instruments and its Guarantee Mechanism implemented in collaboration with the African Guarantee Fund. Exclusively dedicated to women’s businesses, G4G is a risk-sharing mechanism facilitate access to finance for women entrepreneurs and further incentivizes financial institutions in lending to women. The G4G is funded by the G7, the Netherlands and Sweden.