ADB Supports Kenyan Women Entrepreneurship Development

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Tunis, 19 October 2005 - The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (ADB) has approved through its private sector window, a partial guarantee facility of US$ 10 million and a technical assistance facility of US $ 1.58 million to support Growth-Oriented Women Enterprise (GOWE) Development in Kenya.

The partial guarantee facility will be extended to well-established private local banks, thereby encouraging them to extend loans to the women clients. The technical assistance facility consists of three major elements: training of women entrepreneurs; mentoring programs; and capacity building of financial institutions, BDS providers and Women Entrepreneurs' Associations.

Through the partial guarantee facility, the Bank will be able to fill an existing gap within the financial sector and help finance GOWE in Kenya, thereby supporting the growth of at least 400 women-led enterprises. It is estimated that 500 new jobs will be generated by the project.

The expected project benefits include:

" development of women entrepreneurship;

" employment creation;

" strengthening of GOWE businesswomen associations, BDS providers and the participating banks.

The project is consistent with the Bank's vision and strategic plan, which aim at gender mainstreaming in development programmes and promotion of the role of the private sector in the fight against poverty, in order to achieve economic growth with equity. The Bank's Gender Policy and related Plan of action call for empowering women entrepreneurs, in particular through better access to finance. 

Prior to this guarantee facility, the Bank through its private sector window has to-date approved four (4) operations in Kenya which are all well performing, namely: a US$ 2 million investment in the Acacia Equity Fund for SMEs in October 1996, a US$1 million equity investment in 1999 in favour of K-Rep Bank a successful Micro-finance institution that has recently been converted into a Micro-Finance bank, a US$ 7 million Line Of Credit (LOC) to CFC Bank in October 2003 and a US$ 15 million Line of Credit and Technical Assistance Facility to Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) in 2004.

The Bank Group's operations in Kenya started in 1967. To date, the cumulative commitment of the Group in the country amounts to US$ 960 million.


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