Kenya’s KCB Bank has launched a KES120 million (US$1,180,000) fund, aimed at supporting women and youth entrepreneurs in the country’s Makueni county with interest-free loans to build-out their businesses.
The loan fund – launched in partnership with Makueni county – intends to provide access to capital for 1,500 youth and women entrepreneurs, to help them set up and grow their businesses.
The initiative will also see entrepreneurs given further education around financial services, as well as technical support.
“This partnership is expected to provide a seamless financial system which allows for disbursement, collection and management of the funds for the women and youth as well as provide technical assistance and benchmarking for the county,” said Annastacia Kimtai, retail director at KCB Bank Kenya.
“Access to financial services will help to increase income thus eradicating poverty. This will also help the women and the youth groups invest in their businesses and themselves. With this, the returns will create employment and secure regular income flow. The trained beneficiaries will be able to plan and manage their finances,” Kimtai said.
Makueni county governor, Professor Kivutha Kibwana, said the initiative is intended to empower local women and youth by providing them with access to market opportunities, and relevant financing options.
“We want to change the narrative for the youths and women as a way of transforming Kenya through wealth and employment creation,” he said.