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KIE to establish offices in counties

Kenya Industrial Estates (KIE) is on course to establish offices in every county in order to spur industrialization at grassroots.

State Department for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Development Principal Secretary Susan Mang’eni has said the proposed KIE offices will avail expertise and credit services to investors so as to set up industries at county levels.

Mangeni noted that KIE has been operating in Nairobi, saying taking its services to other counties will improve local economies and create employment opportunities.

Speaking in Gatanga, Murang’a Friday, the PS stated that KIE has capacity to give loans amounting to millions of shillings to help industrialists establish processing firms, especially those targeting value addition of agricultural produce.

Mang’eni observed that the proposed industrial parks to be established in counties will greatly benefit from the KIE offices.

“KIE has the mandate to promote small and medium industries with a focus on rural industrialization. Establishing offices in every county will therefore see prospective investors access finances, workspace, business development services and promotion of subcontracting linkages to micro, small and medium industries,” remarked the PS.

She underscored the presence of KIE services at grassroots, saying this will pave way for small-scale businesses to flourish.

“By offering both financial support and expert guidance, this will support growth of businesses at grassroots, thus changing the economic landscape,” she added.

Mang’eni encouraged residents, especially those in rural areas, to embrace opportunities provided by the government for their personal advancement and growth of rural areas.

On the hustler fund, the PS said it’s time for people to form groups and apply for finances to do development projects.

She lauded residents of Murang’a County for repaying loans they have sourced from hustler fund while encouraging local residents to form groups and register as companies so as to benefit from more money from the kitty.

“Murang’a is among counties with many people who have sourced money from hustler fund kitty. For instance, more than 60, 000 residents of Kandara constituency have borrowed a total of Sh. 140 million, while 76, 600 of their counterparts in Maragua borrowed Sh. 170 million.

Those who have borrowed the funds from this county have been repaying their loans without delay and now it’s time for them to form groups and access more money, which can be used to establish micro and medium industries,” highlighted Mang’eni.

The PS further divulged that Sh 245.8 million from Uwezo Fund has been disbursed to 2,409 groups and institutions from Murang’a County.

“The funds have benefited 1,581 women’s groups, 756 youth groups, and 72 groups of PWDs, as well as 37,992 individuals in the entire county.

There is a high absorption rate in the county as it stands at 160.64 percent, implying that all the funds received as allocations have been disbursed to groups and the repaid amounts have been used to fund the beneficiary groups,” she added.

On her part, Uwezo Fund Oversight Board Chairperson Anne Wambui affirmed her commitment to support the mandate of the board by empowering the MSMEs at the grassroots level towards achieving a common goal.

Uwezo Fund CEO Peter Lengapiani applauded the collaboration between the national and county governments in supporting absorption of government funds urging all stakeholders to synergize towards achieving the common objective.

Some of local elected leaders who accompanied the PS called on the local residents to take advantage of the funds the government has set aside to assist growth of MSMEs.

Murang’a senator Joe Nyutu called upon youths who sometimes shy away from sources of finance from Youth Enterprise Fund to get guidance and apply for the money to support their business initiatives.

His sentiments were echoed by the county women’s representative, Betty Maina, who said with availability of funds, young people can establish small enterprises and avoid being indulged in drug and alcohol abuse.

“There is money in Uwezo, Youth and Hustler Fund Kitties.” We implore our young people to apply for these funds and do something to generate income instead of opting to abuse alcohol,” said Betty.

Gatanga MP Edward Muriu pledged to support women and youths from his constituency to form groups and be able to access funds from various kitties.

Muriu said he will ensure formation of two women’s and two youth groups in each of the six wards in Gatanga, saying the groups will be able to source tenders from the local NG-CDF.

On the occasion held at Ndunyu Chege market, Sh 4 million of Uwezo Fund were issued to 17 new groups and 15 groups for refinancing.

By Bernard Munyao

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