Press Release

SBM Bank furthers its sustainability agenda by empowering women in entrepreneurship

Nairobi, 13th March 2023, attended a business showcasing event convened by the Candle of Hope foundation (COHF), a women-led NGO based in Eastleigh, Nairobi on 10th March 2023. The foundation is driven by its vision, ‘To promote community driven development initiatives that enhance empowerment, sustainability and resilience.’ The group is registered under the Ministry of Devolution and National Planning in Nairobi and Somaliland and its members consist of women from pastoralist communities who are transitioning   into urban settings and way of life. It currently benefits 100 women based in Eastleigh estate, Nairobi. The women in these groups trade in the sale of: clothes, spices, camel meat and milk, fruit juices, carpets and natural cosmetics.

SBM Bank has partnered with Candle of Hope Foundation by offering capacity building training on: Building a saving culture, leadership skills, how to become bankable and sustainable business practices. After the training, the women groups received seed capital to purchase stock for their businesses. During the business showcase event, the women shared testimonies of positive business ventures that yielded profits for each group.  There was indeed cause for celebration, evident from the upbeat mood confirming a better quality life. Nimo Ali, Executive Director, Candle of Hope Foundation hopes the partnership will take their SMEs to the next level by tapping into SBM Bank's expertise and experience in supporting small businesses. "Our foundation is passionate about empowering vulnerable women in the community through sustainable business activities. We are grateful for the support of SBM Bank, and we believe that this partnership will help us to achieve our objectives of enhancing women’s empowerment, sustainability, and resilience in the communities we serve. Through this partnership, we believe that the women we are working with will continue to grow and thrive, creating jobs and contributing to the economic development of our communities," said Nimo Ali.

SBM is a UN Women Empowerment Program (WEP) signatory, a commitment that engenders the responsibility to Protect, Empower and Educate women. The bank has a women markets program in place and its objective is to build the capacity of women in business through training that enables them to run successful businesses and achieve their financial goals at an individual level. It is in line with the commitment to the UN WEP objectives that SBM bank partnered with the Candle of Hope Foundation in building the capacity of the women groups in the foundation.

The partnership with the Candle of Hope Foundation is pertinent to SBM’s focus on sustainability. The bank has an ESG agenda in place as a purpose-to-fit financial institution, which is focused on three pillars driven to: Support sustainable business, create a responsible organization and enhance inclusive communities. This is important because of the impact that businesses have on their community and environment. SBM is keen to preserve, grow and add value to the communities who are also the customers and reason for doing business.  Each of the pillars are linked to the Sustainable Development Goals which touch on: Sustainable financing, Sustainable consumption and production, Corporate Governance, Employee wellbeing and talent management, Environmental consciousness, Social and Gender Equity, Poverty alleviation, Education for empowerment, Good health and well-being, Cultural diversity and vibrancy, Climate change mitigation and adaptation and  Entrepreneurship.

Speaking during the business showcasing event, The SBM Women markets and Youth programs senior manager, Abdia Dabaso affirmed SBM’s commitment to women empowerment saying,  “SBM Bank's commitment to supporting SMEs is an essential component of its broader strategy to drive economic growth and promote financial inclusion in Kenya. With its expertise and experience in supporting small businesses, the bank is well-positioned to help SMEs overcome the challenges they face and achieve their full potential.” Also present were the Board Director, Shakilla Jhungeer, Head of Corporate Banking, Beth Muthui and Head of Marketing, Magdalene Mulandi, who reiterated the importance of investing in SMEs and women in business.

Women empowerment is a critical area in SBM’s sustainability agenda, given the critical role that women play in the family, communities, businesses and the nation at large. This business showcasing event was a buildup on the International Women’s day celebrations that SBM participated in on 8th March 2023. SBM bank desires to see women and communities thrive, and there are many more initiatives lined up that are geared towards supporting women in business as well as those in need of inclusion to enable them participate fully in enterprise development.

Download the Mfukoni App today

SBM Bank furthers its sustainability agenda by empowering women in entrepreneurship