Kiambu Governor James Nyoro has asked county residents to take advantage of the recently launched Sh1.3 billion County Jiinue Fund to establish start-ups and generate income.
He said several individuals, organised groups and Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have since started securing loans from the Fund to boost their businesses and earn since its launch two weeks ago.
“So far we have given out close to Sh20 million to 18 people who have applied since the launch of the fund. To cushion residents from the difficult economic times, we urge them to apply for the loans and invest to generate income,” he said.
Dr Nyoro cited a businessman who received Sh1.2 million to put up a greenhouse and a salons’ lady who got Sh200,000 among the many beneficiaries, saying it was the only way to empower the youth and deliver them from poverty.
Through the fund, beneficiaries receive loans from a local bank at half the interest rate without security. The county government acts as the guarantor.
Youths, women and people with disabilities can access loans from Sh20, 000 to over Sh200, 000, start- up can get Sh150, 000, groups will access up to Sh300, 000 while existing MSMEs and Saccos will get financing of up to Sh1 Million.
“The county government has de-risked the bank with Sh138 million as collateral. The interest rate to the loans has been halved while beneficiaries will be recommended by the county government and there shall be a follow up on the start-ups to ensure their success,” he said.
On its sustainability, Nyoro said they have developed policies and structures to make it successful. He added that through partnerships with institutions, entrepreneurs will be trained on business development and mentorships to gain skills to catapult their start-ups to big investments.
“The team will also be monitoring the businesses to guide and offer mentorships where necessary to make the businesses successful,” he added.
He challenged entrepreneurs to take advantage of the cheap loans that he termed as a big boost to businesses that had been hard hit by Covid-19 pandemic.
By Muoki Charles