In May 2008, UNDP partnered with Equity Bank, UNIDO, ILO, and the Ministry of Finance to establish the Fanikisha Initiative in Bondo, Kenya that would increase women’s access to credit facilities and reduce poverty in local regions by giving women capital for economic activities.
UNDP Kenya recognised a unique opportunity to promote both entrepreneurship in local markets and women in the workforce by increasing lending through Equity Bank. The project began with an initial operating budget of $100,000 USD.
In the year since its inception, the Fanikisha Initiative, thru opening access to credits, has helped build local markets in Bondo and will extend its lending practices to Nairobi with three new Equity Bank branches. The aim is to continually increase financial aid to women entrepreneurs over the next 5 years.
Thus far, 20,000 women have registered for training courses in utilising small business loans, 2,000 of whom are from Bondo. In addition, Equity Bank has seen extremely rapid growth and has been continually expanding its operations.