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Equity Bank financing MSMEs to create jobs

Equity Group has today signed partnership agreement worth USD 165 Million in support of the sustainable development of Africa.

The credit facility of USD 165 million includes USD 50 million from International Finance Corporation (IFC), USD 50 million from British International Investment (BII) and USD 65 million from Symbiotic, Responsibility and Field Marketing Organizations (FMO), the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank and a long-time shareholder in Equity through Arise Investments.

The partnership has seen all the partners commit towards Equity’s “Africa Recovery and Resilience Plan” that will see the Group, through its regional banking subsidiaries, finance at least 5 million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and 25 million households, therefore, creating 50 million direct and indirect jobs.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Equity Group Managing Director and CEO, Dr. James Mwangi, said, the investment is IFC’s first in Africa that aligns with the corporation’s approach, to increase green equity investments in financial institutions.

“Through this equity investment, Equity Group commits to zero lending for coal related projects and further agrees to allocate USD 80 million equity towards climate related interventions covering all subsidiaries over the next 5 years,” he said.

Mwangi further stated that with IFC’s reach as the largest global development institution the Bank will be able to further advance economic development by empowering and catalyzing the transformation of the lives and livelihoods of the African people and enhance the success and sustainability of Equity’s Africa Recovery and Resilience Plan.”

At the same time, IFC, Vice President Mohammed Gouled, stated that supporting MSMEs is central to their theme and objectives.

“Lending for small businesses can now be expanded with the aim of steering recovery of economies and vulnerable businesses ravaged by Covid-19,” he said.

BII Head of Financial Services and Africa Coverage Stephen Priestley expressed his enthusiasm to partner with the IFC in providing a new loan facility to Equity Group.

“This being our second investment in Equity, this funding will further increase working capital to more local businesses and help to fund climate eligible projects in Kenya,” said Priestly.

By Abdiaziz Mohamed and Michael Mulinge

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