• Equity Bank has been named as SME Bank of the Year – Africa, at the prestigious IFC Global SME Finance Awards, 2018.
  • The award targets institutions that have successfully launched innovative products or services for SME clients, achieved remarkable results in providing finance to SMEs or been an innovator in digital financial services.

Kenyan Equity Bank has been named as SME Bank of the Year – Africa, at the prestigious IFC Global SME Finance Awards, 2018 in a colorful ceremony held in Madrid, Spain.

The Global SME Finance Awards, endorsed by the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), recognises outstanding achievements of financial institutions and fintech companies in delivering exceptional products and services to their SME clients.

Speaking during the award ceremony, SME Finance Forum CEO Mr. Matthew Gamser congratulated all the winners of the inaugural Global SME Finance Awards.

“These awards celebrate the best-in-class financial institutions and fintech’s that have achieved remarkable results in their SME product or service offerings. Our winners are diverse, but they all share a strong commitment to helping small businesses in their markets with their dedication and innovative practices. The winners are an inspiration to us and their peers,” he said.

While receiving the award, Equity Bank SME Banking General Manager Mr. Jeremy Kamau said the Bank is a pacesetter in several banking trends that have supported MSMEs including digital innovation.

“Equity Bank has revolutionized banking by breaking barriers of geography time and space. We leveraged the power of technology with the objective of self-disruption and virtualization to change the bank from ‘where you go’ to ‘what you do’. This revolution has created sustainability of financial access and placed the power of banking in the hands of the customers, giving them freedom, choice and control,” he said.

The award targets institutions that have successfully launched innovative products or services for SME clients, achieved remarkable results in providing finance to SMEs or been an innovator in digital financial services.

“Having started as a small business over 34 years ago, we acutely understand the hurdles MSMEs face and have developed solutions to challenges such as lack of access to capital and markets, and lack of business management knowledge and skills,” he said.

The winners were selected from a pool of more than 100 applicants and were vetted by a panel of judges representing financial institutions, investors, fintech companies, and development banks.

The judges looked at parameters such as the number of MSMEs financed and volume of financing, original ideas and cutting-edge innovation, the performance and impact of projects/products/services, and flexibility to changes and progressive opportunities.

In recent years, the bank has invested heavily in digital channels for MSMEs, offering solutions such as EazzyBiz, EazzyNet, and EazzyApp. Equity Bank also offers the full range of trade finance and treasury instruments to SMEs.

With over 36,000 bank agents in rural, urban, pastoral and marginalized areas across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, DR Congo; the Bank’s shared prosperity model has deepened financial inclusion for ordinary people.