Jennifer Riria was among the top three global businesswomen who were honoured for their role in changing the lives of small-scale businesspeople in the world.

The Kenya Women Finance Trust (KWFT) chief executive officer has for the last two decades played a key role in financially supporting women in the micro-enterprise sector in the country.

Riria was honoured for helping women access capital for business and contributing towards building peace in times of conflicts.

“In their own very special way, each of the honoree has made significant contributions to their societies.

“In their field of extraordinary leaders, their vision and passion stands out.

“They deserve recognition, admiration and respect, and more than that, our gratitude,” said Michael Spences of the independent committee of Nobel laureates.

Under her tenure, KWFT has granted loans to 1.5 million marginalised women and their families.

United Nations Development Programme administrator Helen Clark announced the three winners of this year’s award yesterday in Norway.

The other two nominees are Sarah Beydoun (Lebanon) and Tores Laerdal of Norway.

“This year’s winners are exceptional role models who exemplify how ethical and responsible actions drive positive societal change,” she said.

The award ceremony took place yesterday May 3, 2016.