Women-led Small and Medium Enterprises(SMEs) are set to get loans starting from Kes 1 million to ease access to finance and scale up their businesses.

This follows a partnership between Absa Bank Kenya, a financing platform Melanin Kapital and the African Guarantee Fund (AGF) to ease access to finance for women-led SMEs.

In the initial phase of the joint program dubbed ‘TUUNGANE 2X Na Absa.’, over 600 SMEs will be invited to go through the digital credit process and credit-readiness program by Melanin Kapital, apply for a loan from Absa Bank that the AGF will guarantee.

For an SME to be eligible for the loans, it must generate over Kes 1 million turnovers annually.

According to Absa Bank’s Business Banking Director, Elizabeth Wasunna program will also provide the SMEs with sustainability training, capacity building, and mentor matchmaking.

And networking activities to prepare them to get access to credit and grow their business sustainably.

On his part, African Guarantee Fund’s Group Director of Structured Finance Nishdeep Sethi said that the Bank is committed to supporting women-led 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.

He also said that 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 delighted to be part of this collaboration that goes a long way in enabling us to meet our goal of bridging the gender financing gap in Africa,” said Sethi.

Melanin Kapital CEO Melanie Keita said her team remains convinced that innovative partnerships between fintech and traditional financial institutions can help drive more financing towards the most underserved communities