Kericho County government has signed a deal with Stanbic Bank to offer financial support to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) grow their businesses in addition to sponsoring digital skills trainings within the devolved unit.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two entities was signed on Friday during the opening of Kericho Stanbic Bank branch.
Speaking soon after the unveiling of the financial institution, Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development Betty Maina lauded the move by the bank revealing that 98 per cent of the country’s private sector is built on SMEs.
CS Maina noted that the partnership agreement played an important role in reinforcing the bank’s commitment to empowering SMEs in the region.
Kericho Governor Professor Paul Chepkwony commended the role played by the bank in supporting SMEs and encouraged businesses in the area to take advantage of the banks offerings to grow their businesses.
He said many enterprises were still struggling to recover from the effects of the global pandemic and added that having digital skills was key to survival.
The county boss noted that the prevailing peace and security in the county has made Kericho a preferred investment destination in the region.
“Kericho is a premium investment destination and this marks the beginning of a string of partnerships geared towards improving the lives of our people. The coming of Stanbic is timely and will play a big role post Covid-19,” Governor Chepkwony said.
He was flanked by the County Executive for Trade, Industrialization and Cooperative Mr. Charles Birech, and Information, Communication, E-government, Youth Affairs and Sports County Executive Ms. Hellen Chepkwony.
The Stanbic Bank CEO Charles Mudiwa said the partnership between the government and the Kericho county government was a move geared at strengthening SMEs with view to driving the county’s economic growth as well as making deliberate efforts to grow and empower its residents.
He revealed the SMEs had an opportunity to utilize the catalytic fund intended to support businesses that were affected during the Covid-19 pandemic and added they could borrow between Sh 3,000 and Sh 50,000 at an interest rate of two per cent.
In addition, Mudiwa said the financial institution had partnered with USAID to support SMEs that intended to scale up their businesses with a grant of up to Sh 5 million.
“The bank has partnered with USAID to support businesses that want to scale up and we are giving monies of up to Sh 5 million which is a grant. They submit proposals which we look at and currently having thirteen applications this month and each quarter we give out Sh 30 million,” said CEO Mudiwa.
While donating 20 computers to the County government of Kericho the CEO said they aimed at supporting businesses for success through offering digital skills and entrepreneurial training programs revealing that the financial institution had made great strides through their ‘Future ni Digital campaign’ program where 50,000 SMEs have benefitted from digital skills and were hoping to reach 100,000 Kenyans by the end of this year.
The new branch opened at Chai Plaza Kericho is the bank’s 27th Branch. Stanbic bank currently has operations in 10 counties notably Nairobi, Malindi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Naivasha, Nanyuki, Thika, Meru, Eldoret and Kisumu.
By Sarah Njagi