Equity Bank has set up a seed fund worth Ksh. 100 Million to support fashion designers who graduate from its financial literacy course, setting the stage for their formal entry into the world of business.
The 40 upcoming designers, who were also the finalists in the bank’s Vijana Na Equity; Design your Destiny, fashion design competition, successfully underwent a 30 hours comprehensive financial training program custom designed for players in the creative sector. The Bank, recently launched the Vijana na Equity campaign geared at providing support for youthful creative entrepreneurs’ aspiring to make their mark in various fields.
Following their graduation, the fashion designers are now ready to claim a share of the local fashion design and apparel retail market estimated at more than US $330m a year, according to the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), will also enjoy access to a KShs 100 Million seed fund to support the whole clothing and textile ecosystem which includes agriculture, ginneries, spinners, fabric traders, and fashion and design through lease hire and asset finance facilities from Equity Bank.
The Financial Literacy course is delivered by the Equity Group Foundation under its Financial Knowledge for Africa (FIKA), program which seeks to raise financial literacy levels across Africa and covers topics such as; budgeting, savings, marketing and sales strategies, debt management, financial negotiations and banking services & products selection.
During the graduation ceremony, Arnold Muriithi (23) a budding fashion designer was picked for the top honour, managing to walk home with KShs 150,000. Arnold, who also got an all-expenses paid invitation to attend this years Hub of Africa Fashion Week in Ethiopia from Equity Bank.
The other winners included Sheila Omondi, Latif Muqqadam and Chebet Lesan who were picked for the first, second and third runners’ prizes respectively while Kevin Ouma and Chebet Lesan won the most promising designer awards.
Within the Vijana na Equity scope, the bank will be seeking to support upcoming fashion designers and other sectors in the creative arts and innovation fronts to attain their dreams while enjoying commercial returns.