Absa Kenya Boosts Its SME Lending
Kevin Namunwa  |  Oct 9, 2020

Absa Bank Kenya is improving its lending towards Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to help the country recover from the pandemic hit.

The lender has decided to offer short term working capital financing “to bridge any cash flow challenges” that affect businesses’ capacity to restock. The bank’s Corporate Director for East Africa said it will offer unsecured loans of up to Ksh 10 million.

James Agin, Absa Bank’s Corporate Director for East Africa, further said the bank will also offer other insurance-based and asset-based financing solutions which will give retailers and distributors flexibility to accept extended payment terms from manufacturers.

“We will offer small and medium businesses unsecured loans of up to 10 million shillings which is the highest in the market, as well as LPO financing and invoice discounting of up to 50 million shillings amongst other benefits.

This will allow the distributors and retailers the flexibility to accept extended payment terms from manufacturers as well as increase their credit should they require it.” Agin noted.

Furthermore, the lender will also offer financial support to employees and suppliers, reaching more members in the value chain.

The bank has also introduced a new product, Absa One Account, which will offer unsecured loans of up to 5 million shillings for individuals and 10 million for businesses.

Absa’s efforts are part of a partnership with CocaCola, Amref and Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) dubbed the “Open Like Never Before” (OLNB) which targets 18,000 small businesses in the country to recover and reopen. The consortium will also offer equipment such as masks, sanitizers, handwashing equipment and garden furniture.

On its part, Amref will offer training on COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, allowing businesses to adhere to government operating guidelines. On the other hand, Coca Cola committed Ksh 125 million to support eateries, waste collectors, restaurants, bars and kiosks.