Fast growing lender, Jamii Bora Bank Limited, has announced it will dedicate 50% of its future lending to Kenya’s budding enterprise sector.

In line with its strategic positioning as a bank that focuses on entrepreneurs and the enterprises they run, Jamii Bora Bank says it will lend over Kshs. 4 billion to businesses that are run by women and the youth between August, 2015 and the end of the year. The bank targets to book new loans worth over Kshs. 8 billion during that period.

“As Kenya’s leading enterprise bank we want to stay at the frontline in nurturing and building the country’s entrepreneurship spirit through provision of affordable and accessible loan products for women and youth entrepreneurs,” said the Chief Commercial Officer, Timothy Kabiru.

Kabiru added that in order to make business financing accessible to this target segment, the bank has introduced an unsecured loan product that allows women and youth to access up to Kshs. 3 million without collateral.

“Going forward we want to maintain at least half of our growing loan-book under the enterprise segment so that, increasingly, women and youth can benefit from the bulk of our lending,” added Kabiru.

So far JBBL has provided over Kshs. 3.5 billion in loans and advances to women and youth-led businesses as at June 30, 2015.

“All lending will be in line with our credit policy and our customers will enjoy our prevailing interest rates which are very competitive,” added Kabiru.

The Bank is also in the process of setting up a dedicated Jamii Bora Business Incubation Center which will be dedicated to building capacity for entrepreneurs at start up, intermediate and growth phases. At the center, entrepreneurs will access legal, financial, business planning and strategy, and governance advisory services which will help to address their formation, stabilization, growth and capital requirements. The center will also provide mentorship. Working closely with other departments in the Bank the center will help enterprises overcome the challenges they face in their formative stages especially access to capital.

“We are a growing enterprise ourselves and so we understand the challenges that other young enterprises face. We have been there, are still there and are doing it – one step at a time!We want to do it together and transform our country!” added an enthusiastic Kabiru.

In 2014 the bank’s loan book grew from Kshs. 3.8 billion to Kshs. 6.2 billion with a significant portion accounting for loans and advances to the enterprise sector.