Equity Group named best financier of women enterprises by IFC


Equity Group has emerged as the Best Financier for Women Entrepreneurs at the Global SME Finance Awards 2022 organized by the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The giant lender was also named the silver winner for SME Financier of the Year in Africa during the event held in Cambodia.

Equity Group which has operations across the region has disbursed a total of Ksh 339.2 billion to 8.3 million individuals and women in groups running sole proprietorships, micro-businesses and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) since 2007 when the bank introduced loan products which enabled women to borrow as low as Ksh 1000 using credit-scoring graduation model.

“The recognition by the IFC and the Global SME Finance Awards is timely and is truly humbling. Equity Group remains committed in its efforts to champion the building back better post the COVID-19 pandemic. We have rolled out a private sector focused stimulus package to accelerate the recovery and resilience of the region through a Ksh 700 billion funding dubbed ‘Africa Recovery and Resilience Plan’. We intend to reach 5 million MSMEs and 25 million individual borrowers over the next 5 years including women and youth owned businesses,” said Dr James Mwangi, Equity Group CEO.

SMEs currently hold 72pc of Equity Group total loan book and have been major beneficiaries of restructured loans after COVID-19 pandemic where the lender reviewed terms of 45pc of its loan book.

Additionally, Equity Group has also continued with 27pc loan book growth for two consecutive years to allow SME sector mitigate, adapt, repurpose, survive, thrive and keep the lights and the lifeline of the economy on.

The judging panel applauded the Group for its wide range of financial solutions including digital banking and trade finance products available to small businesses.

“This year has seen the largest field of applicants ever, as we expand to a fifth award category in the important area of greening SME financing. We have more countries, with more financial products and approaches than ever before. It was a tall order for the almost 100 judges, whom we thank profusely for their expert, informed and unbiased judgment about who merited recognition,” said Matthew Gamser, CEO of the SME Finance Forum.

The Global SME Finance Awards is organized by IFC and the SME Finance Forum and endorsed by the G20’s Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) and celebrates outstanding achievements of financial institutions and fintech companies in delivering exceptional products and services to their SME clients.


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