Young people from Murang’a County have been challenged to take advantage of funds set to benefit youth and invest for source of livelihoods.
The county Youth Fund Credit Officer Doreen Njoroge has observed the number of those applying for the funds is still low despite various efforts to encourage youth to source the money and invest.
Njoroge, however said last financial year uptake of youth fund in Murang’a rose marginally where more than Sh23million were disbursed to various youth groups and individuals.
“Since beginning of the current financial year, more than Sh3million have been disbursed and we are still vetting several applications. We hope by the end of the year, the uptake of the funds will be high,” stated the officer.
During the time when covid-19 pandemic rate was high, the coordinator said many young people shied off from applying for the money.
She told KNA on Wednesday that they have employed a new strategy to encourage youth to apply for the funds.
“Currently we have embarked to train youth groups more frequently to enlighten them on the advantages of sourcing the youth funds and also how to prudently invest the money.
“In Murang’a, majority of those who have sourced the funds have invested in agri-business projects which we can attest are doing well,” said Njoroge.
The funds are in two categories, for individuals and youth groups where loans range from Sh. 100, 000 to Sh. 5 million with a repayment period of up to six years.
“We only give loans to individuals who already have existing businesses. In this category, a youth can get to a maximum of Sh5 million which mostly goes for asset financing,” she explained, adding that groups can get to a maximum of Sh3 million.
The officer highlighted that since the beginning of this year, they have trained over 100 youth groups drawn from various parts of Murang’a.
“We are partnering with various stakeholders to train young people on entrepreneurship, basic accounting and how to manage their businesses well. This has helped since the beneficiaries are making profits which can be affirmed in the rate they are servicing their loans,” she added.
Njoroge said loan repayment in the county is above 70 percent encouraging those who have source the funds to continue servicing their loans so that more people can benefit. “For groups, since we give them funds for start-up, there is a grace period of three months before they start repaying their loans,” she said.
By Bernard Munyao