• Friday, 22 September 2023
Co-operative Bank named the best SME financier of the year in Africa

Co-operative Bank named the best SME financier of the year in Africa

Co-operative Bank of Kenya has been feted by the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank for its work in the small and medium enterprise space.

The lender received a gold award as the SME Financier of the Year in Africa at the global awards celebrated in Mumbai, India.

The awards highlight the roles played by banks and fintech companies in aiding the MSME sector to achieve their business objectives.

“We are encouraged by this award as a demonstration that we have listened, studied and built competitive solutions for SMEs to realize their goals,” said Co-op Bank Managing Director and CEO Gideon Muriuki on the fete.

In July this year, the bank announced that it had set aside Ksh.14 billion towards lending for small businesses across its network.

The seven-year Tier II facility was arranged by DEG, a Germany-headquartered development finance institution and a subsidiary of KfW Group and a consortium of financial institutions.

SMEs constitute 98 per cent of businesses in Kenya and are estimated to have an annual job creation of 30 per cent of all new jobs.

At the end of 2022, Co-op listed its long-term borrowings valued at Ksh.48.1 billion, an improvement from the previous year in which it recorded Ksh42.9 billion.

The borrowings were from among others the IFC (Ksh.15.6 billion) European Investment Bank East Africa (Ksh.6.9 billion), AFD Microfinance (Ksh.1.16 billion) and Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company (Ksh.467.5 million).

The awards are organised by the SME Finance Forum and endorsed by the G20’s Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI).

“This competition makes me very positive that we are on the right track to greatly narrow the SME finance gap,” said Matthew Gamser, CEO of the SME Finance Forum.

The SME Finance Forum is a network of over 250 leading banks, Non-bank financial institutions (NFBIs), fintechs and development banks, created by the G20 in 2012 and managed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC).