Stanbic Bank Kenya through its Accelerate Program today announced a major milestone in its quest to help small businesses reach their potential and contribute towards the country’s economic development.
The bank, Stanbic Foundation and United States African Development Foundation (USADF) unveiled seven recipients of Kshs33million Accelerate Grant Fund.
The grant funds are being issued under the Accelerate Program which aims to position Kenyan businesses for success while addressing the skills gap in the country by boosting entrepreneurship and employability of citizens through digital literacy and upskilling, career development and providing funds (grants) and access to markets.
Winners of today’s grant funds were Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) who have demonstrated resilience and promise to grow and manage their businesses in a sustainable way. They were selected out of over 500 applicants across the country.
Organic Diaries Limited, Tropical Lush Limited, Meditrust Healthcare Services, Organic Fields, Tarakwo Diaries Company Limited and Tovuti Group each won Kshs5million in grant while SunSweet Fruit Farm Products won Kshs3million.
Speaking during the event at a Nairobi hotel, the Chief Administration Secretary, Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development, Mr Lawrence Karanja, commended the steps being taken by Stanbic and USADF to support MSMEs as they are boosting the Government’s Covid-19 recovery efforts.
“What we are seeing today is definitely a boost in our efforts as Government to help businesses recover from the pandemic,” the CAS said.
Stanbic Bank Chief Executive, Mr Charles Mudiwa, said the Accelerate Programme has played a major role in giving businesses the much-needed drive towards growth, adding that the ripple effect will start being felt in the coming months as businesses continue to recover from the pandemic.
“We are happy with the progress we are making thus far because through joint efforts with our partners, we continue to drive economic growth by supporting our MSMEs who create jobs for hundreds of individuals across the country,” Mudiwa added.
On his part, USADF Regional Representative for Africa, Mr Timothy Nzioka, underscored the organization’s contribution in developing, growing and scaling African enterprises and entrepreneurs to improve lives and livelihoods.
“The support we are providing in this project will catalyse sustainable economic growth opportunities for small and growing enterprises in underserved regions in the country,” he emphasized.
Head of Stanbic Foundation, Mrs Pauline Mbayah, said they are keen on creating jobs, enterprise development and facilitating learning programmes. She added that working closely with the Government’s Biashara Training Centres, they plan to donate 400 computers across the country.
In 2020, Stanbic Bank and USADF entered into a partnership to provide grants to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), cooperatives, and producer groups in Kenya. A combined total of US$10 million funding will be disbursed over the next 5 years towards this initiative. The entities are targeting 100 percent Kenyan-owned, managed and legally registered MSMEs in Kenya.
By Hamdi Mohamud and Faith Mukoma