The Machakos county government in partnership with the relevant national government agencies is set to train and empower the youth and women on how to access for government funding and effectively implement their business plans.
Speaking on Tuesday, the Machakos Governor, Dr. Alfred Mutua said his government would be running barazas and camps in all locations where people could gain business and career skills.
The Governor noted that youth and women countrywide have over Sh.14 billion available to them through the various government organizations like Uwezo Fund, Youth Fund, Women Enterprise Fund and the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF).
“My government has decided to go a step further to inform, guide and mentor our people on how to access, apply for funding and implement their business plans so as to get funding from these organizations that are an alternative to banks,” said Dr. Mutua.
The Governor further noted that individuals could now apply for funds to start or buff up business ventures and if a business is doing well, an individual would be eligible to receive up to Sh. 2 million.
He however, pointed that most people were extremely cautious in accessing loans and that is why his government has decided to directly partner with these organizations right to the grassroots to push for bigger uptake of these available funds.
Dr. Mutua said the trainings would help change people’s mindset about loans and drive the youth and women to the next level of creating wealth and employment.
“We will partner and use our available structures of administration down to the village level to empower our youth and women, come up with sessions of innovation so that our people begin to use their creativity to make money,” added Dr. Mutua.
Speaking in Machakos town recently during a Universal Traders Sacco (UTS) members’ education day, the Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender, Rachael Shebesh urged the public to engage in projects that would transform their lives.
The former Nairobi Women Representative who awarded a cheque of Sh.10 million to the UTS through the Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) said the only way to beat the cycle of poverty in the country was through programmes that could empower the people to earn a decent living
On her part, the Machakos County Woman Representative, Joyce Kamene Kasimbi said her office had set aside Sh.50 million to help empower women through NGAAF.
The legislator further added that his office would be launching the kitty to ensure women could be in a position to come up with income generating activities such as small scale irrigation projects and viable business ventures.
During the event a total of 50 self-help groups within Machakos County received cheques worth Sh.9.45 million.
The groups were the successful applicants of the WEF Tuinuke Loan, an interest free constituency-based lending scheme which targets women across the country.
The UTS has partnered with the government in a deal which would see women groups borrow money directly from the institution at a subsidized rate of 8 per cent reducing balance to undertake businesses activities.
By Rachael Kilonzo