By Mourice Seretta
KCB Bank Kenya has set aside KShs. 1.3 billion to support Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Kiambu County to help them weather the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the arrangement, KCB will provide affordable facilities to enterprises whose businesses have been affected by the outbreak. The County Government will pay part of the interest (6%) while business owners will take up the balance (7%).
“The interest sharing and guarantee model is one of the innovative ways the bank has developed through partnership with the county government to facilitate credit to catalyze the business growth of the entrepreneurs and enable economic recovery,” said KCB Director Retail Mrs. Annastacia Kimtai during the launch of the proposition on Friday.
“We appreciate the potential MSMEs have on the economic growth in Kenya and that is why the Bank takes a keen interest to support the sector. We see this facility as a strong cushion for small businesses in the county, something that should be replicated across the country. We hope it will boost our economic recovery and provide capital and other resources to small businesses to help them weather the crisis. If MSMEs do well, the economy does well.
This fund targets existing MSMEs in Kiambu County where entrepreneurs will be financed according to their ability to pay based on their cash flows.
“We are very pleased to partner with the bank as we know the importance of entrepreneurship and the major role it plays in stimulating growth in both urban and rural areas while at the same time freeing more people from the poverty trap.
The programme has also drawn in 4 other partners—the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KNCCI), Master Card Foundation, Kenya Investment Authority and Zetech University to drive the commitment to keeping businesses solvent in response to the pandemic.
The County Government of Kiambu will develop policies and structures that support the utilization and sustainability of the fund and also facilitate capacity building for entrepreneurs.
The facility is part of a raft of initiatives that KCB is running to support the revival of businesses affected by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the Bank rolled out relief accommodation measures to cushion distressed customers.