European External Action Service

04/23/2024 | News release | Distributed by Public on 04/23/2024 13:41

KCB Bank Gets €30 Million (KShs. 4 Billion) for Women Entrepreneurs in Deal with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and European Investment Bank

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KCB Bank Gets €30 Million (KShs. 4 Billion) for Women Entrepreneurs in Deal with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and European Investment Bank

Women entrepreneurs and startups in Kenya are set to benefit from €30 million (KShs. 4 billion) in new lending, following a partnership between KCB Bank Kenya, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the European Investment Bank.

© EIB

The funds have been availed by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the European Investment Bank, to be disbursed through KCB, through the lender's Female-Led and Made Enterprises (FLME) and KCB Foundation 2jiajiri propositions.

FLME is a KShs. 250 billion initiative launched two years ago to create solutions for women entrepreneurs that are flexible, accessible, and affordable. It is a 360 degree-intervention platform that seeks tofill the gap where traditional lenders have failed by supporting women and young people to navigate the complex entrepreneurial journey.

To date, FLME has emerged as catalyst for improving relationships with KCB female customers, understanding their business, increasing their access to finance and provision of the much-needed business advisory. As a result, the bank has disbursed loans worth KShs. 111.6 Billion to over 600,000 FLME customers while the total FLME portfolio constitutes 35% of KCB's SME loan book.

"Kenya and the European Union are committed to delivering gender equality and this exciting new cooperation between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the European Investment Bank and the European Union will enhance opportunities and improve the lives of thousands of women and their families here in Kenya and later across Africa," said H.E Henriette Geiger, European Union Ambassador to Kenya.

This cooperation represents a concrete step forward in institutions helping close gender gaps and get more financing into the hands of women and it is expected to back future microfinance engagement in East Africa and across the African continent. The first facility benefits from a partial guarantee from the European Union under European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus (EFSD+) and is part of the Global Gateway strategy.