At least 210 Youths, Women and Persons living with Disability groups will benefit from a Sh 15 million Enterprise Fund grant aimed at enabling them to start small scale businesses.
The grant which will range from Sh 50,000 to Sh 100,000 has already become a hit especially among youth and women groups in Lamu with hundreds of groups having already applied for grant that opens next month.
According to Education, Vocational Training, Youth, Gender, Sports and Culture CEC Paul Thairu issuance of funds will commence by November 15th 2020 upon completion of the shortlisting process.
He further revealed that the deadline for application is on October 31st 2020.
He also stated that the Fund was created by the county government to enable youths to be self-employed amidst Covid-19 crisis that has caused an economic slump and lack of formal jobs downturn.
“The county government is giving this grant to groups to empower them, alongside programmes such as Kazi Mtaani Initiative to supplement the incomes and livelihoods of Lamu’s youths, women and persons with disability,” Thairu said.
He noted that the grant being issued is not a loan, adding that it is aimed at jumpstarting Lamu’s business economy among the three identified groups.
“Due to the positive feedback that the Enterprise Fund is already receiving from the ground, the county government will put in an additional Sh 5 million towards the Fund to enable more youths, women and PWD groups qualify and get the grant,” the Education CEC said.
Sentiments echoed by Lamu governor Fahim Twaha who stated that so far 675 groups across the county have been trained on eligibility, business idea, record keeping and business management with an aim of promoting small businesses.
“The Enterprise Fund will be a revolving Fund with no interest, which means that small businesses will not be subjected to repayment schedules,” he stated.
The Enterprise Fund was established through the County Assemblies Act of 2018, with an aim of promoting a business economy in Lamu.
“We not only intend to spur a thriving entrepreneurial culture by funding innovative enterprises within the County but intend to reverse the negative socio-economic impact of the pandemic on small businesses,” the Lamu Governor stated.
By Amenya Ochieng