Citibank rolls out program to support women owned businesses
Citibank N.A Kenya has established a Supply Chain Finance Program in support of women-owned businesses.
The bank’s Chief Executive Officer, and East Africa Cluster Head Martin A. Mugambi made the remarks during the institution’s Women in Leadership and Business Conference.
“We have programs of supporting women owned businesses, in particular, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). We have the Citi Supply Chain Finance Program which provides financing to the value chain of our multi-national clients,” he said.
Under the program, the institution provides the women-owned businesses with working capital to enable them conduct business with corporate clients.
“Not only do we provide them with financing to ensure they are empowered to do business, but we have held sessions for specific customers for this supply chain finance program. We identify these women early, and get them to become part of our procurement process here in the bank so that as we procure services, we are also targeting women owned businesses. We are trying to increase this number to 40% of our supply chain,” Mr. Mugambi added.
He reiterated that the bank had concluded a Ksh. 300million Inclusive Finance financing facility under a smart partnership with 4G Capital, which is set to support 25,000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya.
Mr. Mugambi said the bank is overlaying technology with a smart partnership alongside 4G Capital, a leading FinTech company that does data-driven last-mile lending to micro retailers and SMEs.
“Through this smart partnership and the capital we have extended, we will be able to support 25,000 entities, and for us, that is a specific outcome which is measurable and that we are going to scale up smart partnership,” he added.
In 2020, Citi supported US$289million (about Kshs 31.5 billion) in social/inclusive finance debt transactions to fund businesses and microfinance institutions, enabling them to issue more than 415,000 new loans to women globally.
At the same time, the CEO indicated that the bank takes the gender agenda seriously in terms of promoting women in order to drive inclusion. “In Citi, there is no bigger statement than celebrating our new Citigroup Global CEO Jane Fraser who started on March 1, 2021.
She is the first woman to be the CEO in Citi’s 209 year history. That speaks volumes in terms of the direction the organization is taking to promote women to very senior levels of leadership,” Mr. Mugambi added.
The conference was attended by key women in leadership and business from Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Zambia.
The conference speakers included Patricia Okelo (Founder, Willart Productions Limited Kenya Kayana); Phyllis Wakiaga (Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Association of Manufacturers); Floor Overbeeke (Country Director TechnoServe); Kendi Ntwiga -Nderitu (Country Manager Microsoft Kenya); Eva Ngigi- Sarwari (Country Leader Visa) and Neeta Narendra (Managing Director Devki Group of Companies).
The fire-side chat featured Madalo Minofu (IFC Resident Representative for Zambia and Malawi); Barbara S. Mulwana (Executive Director Nice House of Plastics Ltd Uganda) and Phillipine Mtikitiki (Vice President, GM Coca-Cola’s Southern Africa franchise).