Nairobi — KCB Bank Kenya has put aside Sh2 billion to support thousands of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Laikipia County to help them weather the COVID-19 crisis.
This follows the signing of a partnership agreement between the County Government of Laikipia and the Bank on Wednesday morning.
Under the arrangement, KCB will provide affordable facilities to enterprises and cooperative societies whose businesses have been affected by the outbreak of the pandemic. In the arrangement, the County Government will pay part of the interest while business owners and cooperative societies will pay the balance.
"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 Group Chief Operating Officer Samuel Makome.
"We know that small businesses are most at risk from the economic disruption posed by the global outbreak of coronavirus and effects of the containment measures. It is only through strategic partnerships including with county governments that we can support businesses to weather this crisis."
This fund targets existing MSMEs in Laikipia County where entrepreneurs will be financed according to their ability to pay based on their cash flows.
Laikipia County Governor Hon. Ndiritu Muriithi, welcomed the move terming it as a big boost that will stimulate economic recovery in Laikipia County.
"We are excited about this partnership that will unlock the much-needed credit to businesses enabling them to have sufficient liquidity to continue their activities," the Governor said. "By providing loans to small businesses, we will be promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth and employment during this crisis" he added.
County Government of Laikipia will develop policies and structures that support the utilization and sustainability of the fund and also facilitate capacity building for entrepreneurs. In addition, the county will assist in getting markets for customers who are in agribusinesses and provide a team that will monitor the customers who have borrowed to cap loan diversion.
KCB Bank is well-positioned to play a key role in the revival of businesses affected by the effects of COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the Bank rolled out relief accommodation measures to cushion distressed customers.