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Jua kali artisan reaps benefits from hustler fund

The government loan facility, Hustler Fund which borrowers access through cell phones continues to provide financial empowerment and security to low-income Kenyans at the bottom of the economic pyramid who engage in micro-enterprises.

Data from the Ministry of Co-operative’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises indicates that 18 million Kenyans had subscribed to the fund as of January 12, 2023, with 14.2 billion shillings disbursed to Kenyans to engage in small businesses around the country.

Meet Christine Juma, a jua kali artisan in Kericho town who is among the many Kenyans who have tested the popular government loan facility and expresses optimism about a brighter future courtesy of the opportunities created by the Hustler Fund.

Juma who produces items and equipment made from metal and iron sheets reveals to KNA that the Hustler Fund came in handy when she urgently needed to purchase raw materials she uses on a daily basis to produce metal boxes.

“I have managed to borrow twice when I had an emergency due to lack of a few things like paint and other essential raw materials and I am glad the fund was efficient though the amount is less. My limit is Sh1000,” added Ms. Juma

The 38-year-old says she will continue to take out the Fund loans with the hope that her limit will grow enough to borrow a handsome sum of money for the expansion of her business which she lamented has been adversely affected by the economic crunch.

“If you have not tried the hustler fund, it’s easy to access it through your mobile phone by dialling the USSD code *254# and borrow as you pay until your loan limit grows bigger for bigger projects,” said Juma

The female artisan who competes in a male-dominated sector for the last 14 years says due to the use of locally manufactured raw materials and the low cost of labor, items produced by the sector are way cheaper compared to those produced in the formal industry.

“Majority of people have gradually started to appreciate our work here in jua kali, since our products are not only cheaper but also creatively crafted and are durable,” remarked Juma.

The soft-spoken artisan who is also a mother to two high school students encouraged the jobless youth to join the jua kali sector and eke out a living adding that on a fruitful day, she can earn up to Sh5000 while on a dry day, she can take home at least Sh500.

“As long as the business enables you to fend for your family and take care of your basic needs, just do it. So, the youth should not idle around they should use their creativity to craft products that can earn them money,” said Juma.

By Kibe Mburu and Collins Rotich

 

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