Thursday, July 25, 2024

Transforming lives: How Absa InspireMe Conference will benefit women entrepreneurs

Thousands of women entrepreneurs converged in Nairobi on Tuesday, June 18, for the 2024 InspireMe Conference, which was held at a Nairobi hotel.

The event, hosted by Absa Bank Kenya in partnership with the International Trade Centre (ITC) SheTrades Kenya Hub, will run for two days from June 18 to June 19, 2024.

It is dedicated to supporting women entrepreneurs in Africa with information, market linkages, business-to-business networking, and mentorship opportunities.

Co-Op post

The conference brings together women entrepreneurs from various parts of the continent, including Kenya, Ghana, Zambia, Mauritius, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, The Gambia, and Nigeria.

The Absa InspireMe Conference is an initiative under Absa Bank women in business proposition, launched in 2021.

The conference is organized annually to facilitate market linkages, business-to-business networking, and business mentorship for women entrepreneurs.


The theme of this year’s conference is “Empowering Your Story for Growth,” which is in line with Absa’s new brand promise launched earlier this year—Your Story Matters—which shifts the bank’s purpose to a more deliberately customer-centric business.

Through the conference, Absa Bank aims to impact over 10,000 women entrepreneurs across Africa, thereby ensuring business and economic growth.

According to the World Bank, women-owned businesses across Africa consistently perform worse than businesses owned by men due to constraints such as social norms, unequal legal frameworks, and differences in education, resources, assets, and networks.


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These factors negatively influence decision-making, hurting women’s business performance and stunting economic growth.

World Bank, however, says sharing information with women on expected returns in traditionally male-dominated sectors and providing women with early exposure to these industries can help them scale up their businesses.

This is part of the reasons why Absa Bank has been at the forefront of supporting women-led businesses by providing them with the tools and resources needed to upskill their businesses, promote resilience, and thrive in today’s competitive business.

Last year, the lender committed Sh100 billion to support SMEs across various value chains over the next three years.

In addition, in May this year, Absa launched a Women’s Economic Empowerment and Investment Curriculum to empower at least 30,000 women-led micro, small, and medium-sized businesses across Kakamega, Bungoma, and Vihiga counties.

The training is set to be rolled out in all 47 counties to increase economic participation and entrepreneurship among 70% of women and improve financial literacy and management skills for 90% of women.

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