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KCB partners with UWEAL to foster financial inclusion among women entrepreneurs


KCB partners with UWEAL to foster financial inclusion among women entrepreneurs

Photo caption;
Agnes Mayanja Namyalo, (L), Executive Director, KCB Bank Uganda, Sarah Kitakule, (L), Chairperson UWEAL, Connie Kekihembo, (C), CEO UWEAL, together with other UWEAL members pose for a photo during the KCB-UWEAL annual women’s trade fair at Uganda Railway Grounds in Kampala.

Bankers have called for deeper financial inclusion of women in Uganda as a strategy to foster rapid economic growth.

Stressing the significance of financial inclusion of women, Agnes Mayanja the Executive Director of KCB Bank Uganda says that the increasing interest of women in business must be deliberately nurtured and tapped into for the benefit of the country’s economic development.

According to the 2019/2020 financial Sector Deepening Uganda report on the status of financial inclusion in Uganda, 60% of women in Uganda are not financially included as compared to 45% of the men. This means that women do not have registered accounts at formal full-service financial institutions.

Mayanja says beyond providing services and products targeting women in business, KCB Uganda has now partnered with the Uganda Women Entrepreneur Association Limited (UWEAL) to instill the relevant business skills among women that will enable them access funds from financial institutions.

“Now when you hear from the women, they tell you they’re looking for access to finance, they will tell you they are looking for markets, they tell you that they are looking for linkages, they are producing beautiful products ..but how do we link them to off-takers, how do we link them to manufacturers, it is a long journey, it starts with engaging, it starts with collaborations, it starts with partnerships so there is a long way that we have ahead of us. But for now at KCB we do have some products that women can immediately start to enjoy,” Mayanja said.

Celebrating women in business and promoting economic empowerment and gender equality through the KCB-UWEAL Bazaar, KCB bank is committed to supporting women in all areas of their lives and I believe that when women succeed, everyone succeeds, that is why we are proud to partner with UWEAL to ensure the success of this event and we will continue to support events and initiatives like these in the future.

“Events like the KCB Bank-UWEAL Bazaar 2023 are of great importance to the women in business ecosystem and a step in the right direction for our country.

They provide a platform for women to showcase their talents, network with each other and share their experiences. They also create opportunities for us to support and to learn from each other.”

Sarah Kitakule, the chairperson of Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited, said that whereas many women have started businesses, there is little expansion due to access to credit among other business challenges that must be addressed in this partnership.

“Understanding how to manage the money even when they access, remains a challenge. We’re trying to build their capacity to address as well as enhance their ability to market their products but also know what products to deal in.”

Kitakule blamed the lack of creativity in business as one of the reasons for business stagnation and failure.

In Uganda we have a lot of copycat culture in businesses where everyone is doing the same thing. We want to educate our women to add value to what they are doing, not to just copy your next door neighbour because that results into unhealthy competition and all of you might not be able to succeed.”

Under this collaboration KCB will financially support UWEAL to offer financial literacy to the women in business to ensure financial inclusion and boost their enterprises. This ties in with the objectives of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy which emphasizes reduction of financial exclusion and barriers to access financial services.

According to economists, there is empirical evidence showing that financial inclusion can aid self-employment, improve household consumption, support greater local economic activity, and reduce inequality.



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