Diamond Trust Bank and the Kenya Bankers Association have completed a financial literacy training for more than 200 entrepreneurs in Nairobi and Mombasa.
The training was for Small and Medium Enterprises and was on financial management, how to access markets, advertisement and legal compliance to enable them manage their businesses better.
With trainers from the Kenya Bankers Association, the ultimate aim was for the SMEs to learn how they can lower their risk so that they are seen as viable when they approach financial institutions for financing.
Speaking at the close of the training in Nairobi, Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) Chief Executive Officer Nasim Devji told the entrepreneurs to establish relationships with financial institutions to enable them get financing when the need arises.
“Create a financial track record so that even when you lose business, the bank knows what you are capable of and can lend you what you need to start afresh. Financial numbers speak louder than anything else,” said Ms Devji.
Ms Devji challenged SMEs to tap into the efficiencies brought about by the digital age to reduce their costs and contextualise their businesses within what is happening in the market. She also advised them to separate their emotional feelings from the business.
“Be discerning. Be very careful with what you are buying and be efficient in whatever you are purchasing. You need a clear mind and you need clarity of thinking. Credit is to be given quickly and taken quickly,” she said.
Jared Osoro, the Director, Research and Policy at the Kenya Bankers Association, said the expectation by KBA is that the SMEs that have gone through the programme will now be able to seek funding and that the banks will have the confidence to lend to them.
“From the KBA standpoint, we are closely monitoring how this programme evolves so that we can now start looking at dedicated funding from the banks that can enable these businesses grow going forward,” said Mr Osoro.
“If they have good financial management skills, there is actually a growth opportunity because once they get a loan and they repay it, they are able to move to the next level in terms of getting bigger loans to expand their business,” said Mr Osoro.
Mr Osoro said the main reason the SMEs are unable to access credit is their inability to manage their finances properly, which puts off banks that would ideally give them the loans they need to grow.
“Many of the SMEs that are championed by entrepreneurs don’t lack market. They don’t lack an appropriate product. What they lack mainly is financing and that financing can only come if there is a good framework around which they manage their finances generally,” said Mr Osoro.
The training is split into a seven-module curriculum which is delivered in three sessions in partnership with KBA.
– By Correspondent