ABAKYALA KU NTIKKO: Equity Bank Enabling Women In Small-Scale Businesses To Achieve Financial Growth

ABAKYALA KU NTIKKO: Equity Bank Enabling Women In Small-Scale Businesses To Achieve Financial Growth

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In its ongoing commitment to celebrate and empower women-led businesses, Equity Bank today hosted its fourth Women’s Month event in Gulu City. The event, dubbed Abakyala Ku Ntikko celebrates women in business through a series of special events aimed at empowering and enabling women in small-scale businesses to grow and thrive. In alignment with the International Women’s Day theme of investing in women, and accelerating progress, Equity Bank is focusing on supporting women in the micro-segment.

The Abakyala Ku Ntikko features inspirational speakers, financial literacy training sessions, and exhibitions showcasing products from women customers supported by the Bank.  The first of these events kicked off in Kampala on March 6 and proceeded to Fort Portal, Mbale, Gulu, and will conclude in Hoima district on April 12.

While speaking about the Abakyala ku Ntikko event, Elizabeth Mwerinde Kasedde, Executive Director for Public Sector and Social Investments of Equity Bank emphasized the importance of financial independence for women. She highlighted the challenges women face in managing finances due to multiple responsibilities and systemic barriers such as gender discrimination.

Equity Bank has developed tailored products like the Equi-mama suite to address these challenges, offering personalized financial planning, investment advice, and insurance coverage. Additionally, the Bank provides free financial literacy training and access to unsecured financing, mentorship, and networking opportunities for women.

The Equi-mama product also includes medical insurance specifically designed for women covering maternal health, long-term illness, permanent disability, and life insurance.

According to Mwerinde, the Abakyala ku Ntikko event aims to create a platform for women to learn about financial management in business, recording keeping, accounting, and networking. Equity Bank’s commitment to empowering women reflects its dedication to transforming lives, giving dignity, and expanding opportunities for wealth creation.”

“We all know the importance of financial independence for women. It not only gives them the confidence to make their own decisions, but it also allows them to support their families and communities. However, women face unique challenges when it comes to managing their finances. They often have to juggle multiple responsibilities, including their families, businesses, careers and personal lives. In addition, they may encounter systemic barriers such as gender discrimination in their various workstations or businesses, which can make it difficult to achieve financial stability,” said Elizabeth Mwerinde.

According to statistics from UBOS, nearly 40 percent of small and medium-sized enterprises are owned by women in Uganda. These businesses employ millions of people and support hundreds of households.

Laura Bahemuka, Head of Micro Segments at Equity Bank noted that although all the Bank’s products are available to all women, there are special products tailored for the welfare and economic independence of women.

“If you want to transform lives, you support the women. As a bank, we have some products for children, but when you touch the lives of women, the mother; you have impacted the children and those around her,” she said.

Bahemuka says free financial literacy training has become mandatory for the youth and women. Over 50,000 women have been trained in financial management. “We realized that it is not good to keep pumping our clients with money without taking them through basics such as saving, budgeting, and loan management. Therefore, we participate in grooming each of them in the management of whatever business one invests in.”

In honor of celebrating Women’s Month, the bank also awarded women customers in different regions during the Abakyala Ku Ntikko events for not only supporting the bank but also being consistent savers and compliant credit customers. These awards also serve to encourage women customers to adopt and maintain financial discipline as they continue to strive for financial independence.

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