Equity Bank has unveiled a credit product facility dubbed “Maridadi Business” , a comprehensive financial solution including financial education designed to ease access to finance to all players in the creative economy.
‘Maridadi Business’ targets everyone in the value chain and related industry a full end to end set of tools that will allow a maximization of opportunities. The credit facility is from Kshs. 5,000 ($50) up to Kshs. 100,000,000. ($1,000,000).
“The bank is keen on bridging the gap that will connect these entrepreneurs and build structures that will enable them to compete favorably at a global level by nurturing business growth through financial/entrepreneurship training, working capital and exposure that will in return elevate the whole value chain in the ecosystem,” said Dr. James Mwangi, Equity Bank’s CEO.
Dr. Mwangi announced the initiative at the launch a report titled; The Kenyan Textile and Fashion Industry: The role of fashion designers and small tailors in the fiber to fashion value chain, by Hivos East Africa, Equity Bank Kenya, and the Association of Fashion Designers of Kenya (AFAD).
The report highlights the state of the fashion industry and tries to examine how Kenyan designers and manufacturers can attract and tap into the global apparel value chains.
According to Hivos East Africa’s Regional Director, Mendi Njonjo, Kenya’s fashion industry remains largely untapped given its potential to create 300,000 jobs for women and youth in the country’s creative economy.
‘’Besides employment and empowerment, the Textile and Cotton industry offers the possibility of renewable energy powered businesses and green jobs which is a big step towards sustainable development,’’ she said.
In conjunction with AFAD, the designers will be provided with networking program trainings and platforms to market their designs. The established fashion designers will be instrumental in nurturing the young talent on what is required to make it in the industry.
These findings come at a time when statistics indicate that Kenya’s local fashion design and apparel retail market is estimated at more than US$330m a year, according to the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM). Financial institutions have been cited as some of the key players that will unlock the full potential of the textile and clothing sector with regards to creating jobs, generating incomes, strengthening trade, accelerating technology adoption, attracting investment, and promoting local women and youth entrepreneurs.