Kenya’s Chase Bank secures US$50 million from AfDB to support SMEs and startups

Chase Bank, a leading commercial bank in the SME financial service space in Kenya, has secured a US$50 million on-lending facility from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to support its growth strategy.

The funds will be lent across key sectors of the Kenyan economy including business services, building and construction, retail, transport, communications, manufacturing and the hospitality industry.

Chase Bank Chief Executive Officer, Paul Njaga said, “SMEs are the engine of growth of Kenya’s economy in terms of employment creation and income generation. For the sector to grow sustainably, barriers to access financing will need to be addressed,”

He added, “We are therefore delighted by the partnership we have established with the AfDB to support clients in this business segment that have traditionally been under-served. This facility will also enable Chase Bank pursue one of its key mandates of achieving financial inclusivity.”

“By partnering with Chase Bank, the AfDB complements its existing initiatives to support SMEs in Africa as well as the development of private sector and financial markets on the continent. As one of its priority objectives, the AfDB supports investments that contribute to inclusive growth on the continent,” said Gabriel Negatu, AfDB’s Regional Director, Eastern Africa.

The facility, which has already been approved by AfDB’s Board, will further strengthen the bank’s intervention in the SME sector.

Chase Bank has been a supporter of SMEs and startups in Kenya. Last year, it partnered iHub to provide two Fintech startups with financial and advisory support to help scale their products.

The Bank also plans to launch a state-of-the-art tech hub to help small tech startups become profitable businesses.

Although a corporate Bank, Chase Bank is fondly called the SME-friendly bank because most of its products are tailored to cater to the needs of the informal sector of the economy.

One of such product is Mfukoni, an app that enables customers carry out banking operations on-the-fly. The app is available on all mobile platforms.

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