Mavoko Member of Parliament Patrick Makau has presided over the issuance of Sh4.9 worth Uwezo fund cheques to 60 Women groups, youths and people with disability in Machakos County.
Makau said the groups would use the funds to run their profit making projects thereby empowering themselves and uplifting their families.
Speaking in Mavoko CDF offices at the DCC office in Athi River, Makau encouraged Machakos people to get together in groups and register so as to access the Uwezo fund to start their businesses without financial challenges.
“I encourage Machakos people to regroup themselves because this fund can only be given to groups. Then you register the group and apply to be given the money,” said Makau.
He said they must understand that credit is important, hence the reason he has been preaching to Machakos people to continue with the culture of borrowing and repaying so that they could grow.
“Once you borrow from the women or youth fund, it’s important that you pay so that you re-apply for more because in repaying, there is growth,” added Makau.
He hailed them for utilizing the money they were given and repaying the Uwezo fund, which is why they were receiving more funds.
“There are groups who started with Sh50,000 and now they are receiving Sh350,000 because they have been repaying and growing their businesses,” added Makau.
He congratulated them for leading and being the best constituency in repaying the Uwezo fund at 60 percent payment rate.
On his part, CEO Uwezo funds Mr. Peter Lengepiani said Mavoko is leading in repayment because of the measures the committee has put in place, close follow up of the groups and sensitization to ensure groups are able to repay funds.
“Mavoko was given Sh20 million and you people are leading because the money has grown and gone up to Sh 32 million which is 60 percent repayment rate,” added Lengapiani.
He said the groups were set in terms of social grouping where they could focus on sustainable businesses which could uplift them.
Lengapiani added that their main task is to bring them from the lowest level to a level they could access funding from any commercial facility so as to expand their business.
“Earlier, it was difficult for a common mwananchi or hustler to go to a bank to ask for funding but with Uwezo fund, we have been supporting them to get funding and they are able to start their business and have confidence to access funding,” said Lengepiani.
He urged the youth to come out, unite and form groups to access the money and start businesses since the Uwezo fund is there to empower everyone.
Lengapiani noted that it is important to have a market for their products and asked the groups to enter into cooperatives so that they can market their products.
Uwezo Fund is a flagship programme for vision 2030 aimed at enabling women, youth and persons with disabilities access finances to promote businesses and enterprises at the constituency level, thereby enhancing economic growth towards the realization of the same and the Sustainable Development Goals
The Fund was launched in 2013 and is highly devolved and adopted the concept of bottom-up approach with decision making done at the grass-root level.
Since inception, the Fund has disbursed more than Sh7.2 billion and directly supported 1,124,221 beneficiaries of which 69% are female and 31% male through provision of affordable and accessible credit, capacity building on entrepreneurship skills, basics on book keeping and market linkages.
By Anne Kangero