Move to tap into the over 17 Million Small Enterprises in Kenya
Nairobi, Kenya, October 13, 2016
National Bank of Kenya has launched its Small Enterprise Banking Unit, a move that will see the bank accelerate its balance sheet growth while catering for the financial inclusivity requirements of small enterprises.
This launch follows the bank’s pledge of Kes. 2 Billion to support small enterprises across the country through the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) Inuka Programme. National Bank Managing Director & CEO Wilfred Musau said the Small Enterprise Banking Unit seeks to bank the unbanked in the majority of low-end Kenyans who are in business.
“We want to instill confidence in small enterprises who, with proper access to financial services, can boost job creation, increase households’ income and increase investments in human capital,” said Mr. Musau. The new unit will target both the personal businesses and investment groups in the Retail Convectional and Amanah Business Segments.
In the past three years, National Bank has embarked on an aggressive drive to diversify its deposit and loan concentrations by tapping on the small and medium enterprise segment. According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics there are more than 17 million Small Enterprises registered in Kenya, with 98% of the enterprises contributing to 25% of the country’s GDP and employing up to 50% of the workforce.
Some of the products that National Bank has launched under this unit are the Jenga Chama, Jenga Kilimo and Jenga biashara plus loan accounts to fast-track its Small Enterprise banking outreach campaign. Jenga Chama Loan is designed to avail financial solution to investment groups of three members and above that meet the group’s specific needs and provide financial advice to the groups that suit the current business environment under Asset financing and capital expenditure whereas Jenga Kilimo Loan is a financial solution that promises Smallholder farmers: growth, diversification and consolidation of their farming business.
National Bank is the first financial institution to come out strongly focusing on the Small Enterprises sector since the capping of interest rates. Through this move, the bank has dispelled any fears that the sector is at risk of exclusion from formal banking due to the perceived high risk associated with small enterprises.
Mr. Musau said that the move was part of the bank living up to its founding objective of offering affordable financial services to all customers. Through a specially tailored Jenga Biashara Plus business loan, the bank will cater for the financial needs of Enterprises that are seeking to expand their operations through both working capital and investment financing.
“We are looking at a massive and aggressive account opening campaign for our Small Enterprise Banking segment while at the same time becoming the go-to bank for the unbanked and low-end customers who are “the backbone of our economy,” said Mr. Musau. In 2013, National Bank embarked on an aggressive mission to transform itself and reach a toptier status by 2017 through business growth, distinctive client service and operational excellence.
The bank has so far implemented more than 50 projects in a bid to achieve this target.