Equity Group strengthens its partnership with Proparco to support economic growth
As part of the visit to Kenya of the French Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, Franck Riester, Proparco granted Equity Bank two guarantee facilities, ARIZ and EURIZ totalling €39 million (5 billion KES) to help the Kenyan bank further support job creating MSMEs. Proparco also granted a €550,000 technical assistance facility to support Equity Group Foundation’s health projects. The EURIZ guarantee and the technical assistance grant benefited from support from the European Union and the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States.
Equity Group is the biggest bank in asset base in the region, with a strong focus on supporting businesses in the real economy. It stands out for its continued support to SMEs, women entrepreneurs and rural populations with products designed to expand opportunities for wealth creation. It is also well-known for its high-impact development programs in Education and Leadership Development, Energy and Environment, Food and Agriculture, Health, Financial Inclusion and Enterprise Development and Social Protection led through the Equity Group Foundation.
Upon completing the signing, Dr. James Mwangi, Managing Director and CEO of Equity Group Holdings Plc. stated that, “Our strong relationship with Proparco is one that we greatly value. Our shared vision for the transformation of lives and livelihoods on the African continent is one we are both committed to. It is this shared mission that continues to support and expand opportunities for wealth creation on the continent for our people, and which will allow Africa to thrive and prosper in the post-Covid economy and underpins our collaborations under the French “Choose Africa” and Equity’s post covid Africa resilience and growth plan.”
Over the past three years, Proparco and Equity Bank have grown to become strong partners thanks notably to a $22.8 million loan granted in 2019 and a $100 million loan granted in October 2020, both intended to support the Bank’s commitment to Kenya’s MSMEs the actors in the real economy.
On the occasion of the visit to Kenya of the French Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, Franck Riester, Proparco and Equity further strengthened their relationship by signing two new guarantees and of a technical assistance grant.
The first, a €19,5 million (2.5 billion KES) ARIZ guarantee will cover 50% of the amount of eligible loans allocated by Equity Bank to Kenyan MSMEs.
The second, a €19,5 million (2.5 billion KES) EURIZ guarantee will cover up to 70% of loans granted to women entrepreneurs or to MSMEs in sectors with a high social or societal impact such as Agriculture, Fisheries, Education and Health. Launched in May 2019 with the support of the European Union (EU) and the European Development Fund, and the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), the EURIZ guarantee aims to facilitate access to credit for MSMEs, in sectors with a high development impact, to help them play their essential role in economic growth and job creation.
The two guarantees, which amount to a total of €39 million (5 billion KES), are the largest ever granted by Proparco to a financial institution. They both contribute to Choose Africa, the French initiative dedicated specifically to African entrepreneurs, start-ups and MSMEs while supporting Equity’s Africa recovery and growth plan.
Proparco also allocated today a €550,000 (70 million KES) technical assistance grant to the Equity Group Foundation (EGF). This technical assistance aims to support the development of EGF’s health pillar through several components, including the development of entrepreneurial and management training for Equity Afia’s doctor-entrepreneurs, the implementation of a quality management program within the network and the strengthening of the Equity Afia clinic economic and social model.
“We want to see continued progress for our SME and MSMEs as the world opens up and by working together with partners such as Proparco, the European Union (EU) and the European Development Fund, and the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), we are offering our clients a way to empower themselves while creating economic opportunities for wealth creation for our people”, stated Dr. Mwangi.
For more information on this initiative visit www.equitygroupholdings.com