Women Entrepreneurship & Networking Workshop

Participants Discuss Financial Management for Women in Business Nairobi, 28th April, 2016 – Gulf African Bank, Kenya’s premier Shari’ah compliant bank, today held a financial management forum for women entrepreneurs in Nairobi Kenya.The conference, organized in partnership with International Finance Corporation (IFC), brought together women in business seeking to forge partnerships and discuss financial inclusion.

IFC estimates that 39 percent of Kenya’s formal small and medium enterprises are owned by women. As in most developing countries, women in Kenya have more challenges accessing financing than men. Gulf African Bank, the country’s first Islamic bank, is addressing this limitation through its women banking program. By providing women- only banking centres, dedicated teller counters for women, affordable credit, mentorship as well as discounts at partner outlets; the program champions inclusion of women in the financial sector.

Speaking at the opening, Mr. Abdalla Abdulkhalik, MD Gulf African Bank said, “Mobilizing women has proven powerful when aimed at accelerating growth in a nation. They are the pathway to realizing sustainable development goals and certainly meeting the world’s millennium development goals. By coordinating efforts to empower them, transferring appropriate knowledge tools to them, sharing lessons learned and fostering synergies there will be clear national enterprise development. As signatories to the Women Empowerment Principles (WEPs) Gulf African Bank has committed to champion women economic growth at both social and professional levels”.

Representing IFC, Mr. Manuel Moses – Country Manager, Kenya said that IFC works with partners like Gulf African Bank to increase financial services to female entrepreneurs, enabling them to grow and drive forward Kenya’s economy. The workshop held today continues a long standing partnership between IFC and Gulf African Bank. IFC made its first investment of $5 million equity in Gulf African Bank in 2013, and a year later, the bank joined IFC’s Africa Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Finance Program, which advises financial institutions in 18 African countries on how to increase lending to SMEs.

The discussion during the forum centered on various topics around entrepreneurship and enabling women in business, brought out a robust debate from the speakers who included Ms. Fahima Zein, Chief Investment Officer, GENAFRICA, Ms. Fatma Maawy, MD Milestones, and Ms. Najma Jabri, the Head of Women Banking at GAB. The session was led by renowned personal finance expert and Founder of Centonomy, Waceke Nduati, who tackled the topic of Financial Management.

Participants received practical advice, feasible solutions, and innovative ideas on how to fund and grow their business from fellow entrepreneurs and experienced financial advisors.

The forum, held at the Radisson Blu Hotel, also acted as the launch of Gulf African bank’s Women Banking (Annisaa) Website. The website, which is a first of its kind in Kenya, offers expert advice through a panel whose expertise ranges from entrepreneurship, leadership, medical and hospitality. It also acts as a knowledge hub to build capacity, provides a platform where women can review success stories of other women entrepreneurs and network, and has the unique feature of a family hub, which will address the women’s needs on a professional and personal level.

Gulf African Bank
Joyce Wanjiru – (0720 051202)
Serah Ndung’u – (0723 021160)
Maria Namuye – (+254 20 2740000)

About Gulf African Bank
Gulf African Bank is the first fully Shari’ah compliant bank in Kenya, offering products that address the needs of not just Muslims, but everyone in the country through fair, safe and ethical banking practices. Gulf African Bank is a pioneering Islamic Bank not only in Kenya but also in the entire East African region, whose shareholders include: Istithmar World (the investment arm of the Government of Dubai); BMI Bank (a leading regional bank headquartered in Bahrain); Sheikh Abdullah Mohammed Al Romaizan (a leading investor from Saudi Arabia); PTA Bank, GulfCap (UAE), IFC (World Banks Private Investment Arm) and prominent Kenyan nationals. www.gulfafricanbank.com

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org

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