3 million SMEs to access post-COVID-19 financial support for businesses

By Oduor Jacktone

Over 3 million Small and Medium business Enterprises (MSMEs) are set to benefit from funding following a partnership between The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Equity Bank.

Equity announced that it had set aside Sh200 billion for the chambers members to access as part of the post-COVID-19 financial support for businesses.

Under the MoU, the two institutions will provide financial and training framework to a business enterprises before offering them the loans.

KNCCI President Richard Ngatia said the partnership will see the two institutions work together to support the development of financial solutions in a bid to address the needs of Kenyan businesses and entrepreneurs.

“Chamber members across the country now have a reason to be happy. We have made the conscious decision to walk the journey with them and to support them when they need us the most. By partnering with Kenya’s largest bank, we are increasing opportunities for our members and giving them access to Equity’s resources in terms of manpower, financial resources and a comprehensive training curriculum that will see their business grow,” Ngatia said.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Equity Group Chief Commercial Officer Polycarp Igathe said the bank is committed to supporting local business to survive, recover and thrive post COVID-19 and to help them create more jobs.

The partnership will target SMEs operating within key sectors of the economy including education, agriculture and agribusiness.

Businesses are also set to benefit from competitive interest rates and flexible repayment periods of up to three years on the loan facilities.

“In line with our purpose of transforming lives, giving dignity and expanding opportunities for wealth creation,” Igathe said.

“We want to seem SMEs in Kenya grow and rise above the economic challenges brought by COVID-19.”

He said, with the MoU “Equity customers and KNCCI members will benefit from access to credit facilities, training, business development, mentorship and coaching thus resulting in enterprise and overall industry growth.”

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