KCB has a fully-fledged SMEs unit, dedicated to serving the segment and also has Biashara Club, a networking platform for entrepreneurs across the 7 markets that the Bank is present.
In March, KCB launched a five-year Ksh50 billion youth entrepreneurship programme that is meant to nurture and support small businesses, with an eye at creating at least 2.5 million jobs in the next five years. Under the programme, startups and existing SMEs will be linked with market opportunities and funding. The upcoming KCB sponsored Lions DenShow is for example meant to identify the best and most viable business ideas to be funded by venture capitalists. The winners will also benefit from mentorship and training.
“SMEs have been a key element of our growth story over the years and we are continually making deliberate investments to support the sector. We believe that the segment will remain a crucial driver of Kenya’s economic journey into the future. This is also informed by our conviction that today’s SMEs are Africa’s conglomerates of the future,” said Annastacia Kimtai, KCB Bank Kenya Retail Director. “In our approach to serve SMEs better, we have tailored a wide range of products and services for the segment, specifically to address their needs. This ranges from business accounts, working capital loans, trade finance and supplier financing facilities among others. Through partnerships between the Bank and other institutions across the value chain and riding on the wide array of business units across KCB Group, we are able to expose them to growth opportunities,” said Mrs Kimtai.
KCB sees SMEs as a key cog in its growth story in the coming years and the sector playing a catalytic role in the country’s economic journey.
“We are seeing a substantial growth in the SMEs sector as more startups come up, startups graduate into medium sized businesses and eventually evolving into big enterprises. We are well positioned to support these businesses across the levels as they grow,” said Mrs Kimtai.
About Biashara Club
KCB Biashara Club is a networking platform for customers which exposes them to growth opportunities locally and internationally. Having begun in 2008, with SME setup in mind, the Biashara club mandate is to avail SME banking (lending and deposit) and other enterprise development services to the customers. The Club currently has over 15,000 active members in KCB Kenya, and over 4,000 in South Sudan and Rwanda.Over the years, the club has formed strategic partnerships with the club members in mind.32,000 customers have already been trained with over26 international trips, 6 local trips and 1 regional trip. Last year alone the club conducted 56 Business trainings regionally and internationally across the regions and over 60 are to be conducted this year. The Club aims to reassure customers that they have made the right choice to bank with us as we are their business partners and to act as a vehicle to economic growth of the country. The Club members get to enjoy several benefits such as access to, & the support of a dedicated Relationship Manager, Regional and international trips as well as preferential pricing on selected bank services. One of the biggest benefits the members enjoy are the partnerships between the Biashara Club with USAID, Export Promotion Council (EPC), International Finance Corporation (IFC), U.S. Embassy and other professional partners to provide them with solutions and advisory services in aspect of their business. The international trips have not only opened opportunities for the club members to leverage on both import and export opportunities,networking opportunities and easily access to Biashara loans; but they have also opened opportunities for the bank through immense source of foreign exchange from travelling customers and Influence to retention of club customers, a major source of Non-Funded Income (NFI).The Club is envisioning a bright future by educating and enabling the members with E-Commerce and M- Commerce platform for their business growth and establishing a Club Web Portal where members can access Trip Information, Workshop/Seminar modules, Biashara News and SME Loan Application forms. This year, the Club has held trips to Rwanda, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the USA with two more trips planned for the remaining part of the year to China and South Africa.