The Mastercard foundation in collaboration with the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) today launched interest-free loans for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Garissa county.
Speaking at the Garissa government guest house Tuesday, MasterCard foundation’s project coordinator Louis Kabuchu said the eligible members will receive short term revolving interest-free loans of between Sh 1,000 to Sh 31,000.
Kabuchu said that the purpose of the project is to bridge the financing gap among depositors in micro, small and medium enterprises since they hardly qualify for loans from mainstream financial institutions
The coordinator said the funds are aimed at reviving small businesses that were adversely affected by Covid-19 pandemic across the country.
She said that over Sh300 million have been already disbursed to hundreds of beneficiaries in various counties in the Sh 600 million project.
“We encourage youth aged between 18 and 35 while women from the age of 18 to 70 to apply for this loan. It’s an interest free loan that does not have so many conditions to be obtained,” Kabuchu said.
She also encouraged members to have records of the businesses adding that beneficiaries are supposed to have done business one year before the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
Kabuchu noted that the key objective of the program is economic sustainability, inclusivity and resilience.
“The kitty will target mostly mama mbogas, boda boda operators, hawkers, mkokoteni operators amongst others small traders,” she added.
The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice Chair Fatma Elmaaway encouraged small business owners to take up the opportunity to bolster their businesses.
Elmaaway called on local traders both men and women alike to join the chamber of commerce for training and other benefits noting that the chamber of commerce safeguards businesses.
Micro, small and medium businesses were also trained on the process of the applying for the funds as well as eligibility criteria.
The beneficiaries are supposed to pay back within two months with which they can reapply again for another loan.
The function was also attended by Garissa County Chamber of Commerce coordinator Omar Sadiq.
By Jacob Songok