The Kenyan government through Uwezo Fund’ seeks to provide 6 billion shillings in September in interest-free loans to support youth and women in businesses.
The fund dubbed Uwezo Fund’ will be channeled to beneficiaries through the Constituency Development Fund framework, under the administration of committees that have been set up at each constituency.
According to Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Ms. Anne Waiguru , the Fund will enable eligible youth and women across the country gain access to interest-free loans as start up capital for small and micro business of varying amounts not exceeding Ksh. 500,000. Only a 3% one-off administration fee will be payable for each loan.
UWEZO Fund additionally aims at supporting youth and women to leverage on the 30% government procurement preference for youth, women and Persons with Disabilities.
The Ksh. 6 Billion which was originally set aside by the government for use in case of an election run-off will now be re-channeled to support youth and women enterprises and currently preparations for launching the Fund are ongoing.
UWEZO Fund’ will take the model of Table banking to enable the poor who find credit difficult to obtain from banking institutions and who need an initial capital input access finances in order to start their income generation scheme.
The Minster added that besides the relevant Member of Parliament, the committee will comprise one youth and women representative each. In addition to assessing applicants’ business plans and granting loan approvals, the committee’s role will include monitoring use of the disbursed resources to ensure accountability.
The Ministry and the relevant government institutions will be spearheading capacity building efforts for prospective beneficiaries of the Fund once it is launched.
This post was first published by AfricanWomenNetwork.org, our Media Partner in Africa.