Home Business Absa and ITC Host Africa’s Largest Women Entrepreneurs Conference: Empowering Growth Stories

Absa and ITC Host Africa’s Largest Women Entrepreneurs Conference: Empowering Growth Stories

by Femme Staff

Absa Bank Kenya and the International Trade Centre (ITC) SheTrades Kenya Hub is set to host the biggest meeting of women entrepreneurs in the continent, targeting over 10,000 women entrepreneurs across Africa.

The Absa InspireMe Conference is an initiative under Absa Bank’s women in business proposition, launched in 2021. The conference is organized annually to facilitate market linkages, business-to-business networking, and business mentorship for women entrepreneurs. The theme of this year’s conference is “Empowering Your Story for Growth,” which is in line with Absa’s new brand promise launched earlier this year—Your Story Matters—which shifts the bank’s purpose to a more deliberately customer-centric business.

Addressing the media during the launch event held at Absa Headquarters, Absa Bank Business Banking Director Elizabeth Wasunna, said, “We thrilled to once again be hosting the conference in Nairobi. Our mission is to create a platform that brings together prominent African women in business and entrepreneurs to share ideas, empower one another and discuss emerging trends and skills necessary to transform their institutions and propel them to various levels of growth.”

The Absa InspireMe Conference 2024 is proud to partner with the International Trade Centre SheTrades Kenya Hub. As a result, on the sidelines of the knowledge-sharing and inspirational sessions from global and local business titans, an exhibition of products and services and industry-specific trade visits, we will also have a delegation from the United Kingdom in a bid to connect our women entrepreneurs to UK buyers to build new business linkages and expand economic opportunities for women-led businesses from across the continent.”

This year’s conference brings together women entrepreneurs from Absa participating countries, which include Kenya, Ghana, Zambia, Mauritius and Uganda, as well as participating countries under SheTrades Hubs in Africa, that is, Mauritius, Rwanda, South Africa, Ghana, The Gambia and Nigeria.

Concurrent to the Absa InpsireMe Conference and as part of the Kenya—UK Trade Mission, select women-led businesses from the agrifood, textiles and apparel, handicrafts, and accessories sectors will participate in a series of one-to-one business meetings with potential buyers from the UK delegation and African corporations. Representatives from participating SheTrades Hubs will also discuss potential collaboration with the three participating UK delegates from the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chamber International, and West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as export opportunities available through the UK Developing Countries Trading Scheme. 

Speaking on behalf of International Trade Centre (ITC) Ms. Phyllis Mwangi, SheTrades Hub Regional Coordinator for East and South said “The African market represents a 1.4 bn market opportunity for Kenyan SMEs to conduct business with the African Continent. In addition, this conference will bring 11 UK buyers and 20 large corporations from the SheTrades Hubs countries to explore new opportunities with the women entrepreneurs at the conference.”

The Inspire Me Conference will welcome a prestigious line-up of successful entrepreneurs, government representatives, regulators, Absa senior executives and managing directors from Kenya, Ghana, Zambia and other key stakeholders, including Kenya Association of Manufacturers. The event will feature various separate panel discussions covering various topics aligned with the main theme of ‘Empowering Your Story for Growth.

Notable personalities participating in the conference include the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Industry Rebecca Miano, the President’s Advisor on Women Rights Hon Harriette Chiggai KAM CEO Mr. Anthony Mwangi, Visa Country Lead Eva Ngigi, Catherine Muraga – MD Microsoft Africa Development as well as Dr. Afua Asabea Asare, CEO-Ghana Export Promotion Authority.

Other official partners for the conference include Finance in Motion and Africa Guarantee Fund and APA Insurance. Over the last three years, this conference has united over 8,000 women across Africa, offering them the chance to learn from mission-driven women business leaders in Ghana, Zambia, Uganda, and Kenya.

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