Over 2,000 SMEs set to benefit from affordable credit facilities

Over 2,000 SMEs set to benefit from affordable credit facilities

Nakuru County Government has inked a deal with Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) aimed at offering training and affordable financing to over 2,000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) within the devolved unit.

Governor Lee Kinyanjui said his administration was partnering with the bank to offer credit facilities at a 12.5 per cent interest rate per annum, out of which 5 per cent would be covered by the County Government’s Cooperatives Revolving Fund while the remaining 7.5 per cent would be catered for by the borrower.

Speaking at the County headquarters when he signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the financial institution, Kinyanjui noted that though most SMEs had been adversely affected by Covid-19 economic aftershocks, affordable financing remained a challenge due to high interests offered.

“We urge other financial institutions to realign their programmes by assisting traders to adapt to the new reality caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Though SMEs are the driving force of economic development in Nakuru County, accounting for 90 per cent of all businesses, 50 per cent of employment, and 40 per cent of Gross Domestic Product access to affordable finance remains a challenge to many,” noted the Governor.

He noted that lack of sufficient collateral, high cost of credit, and informal business structure had rendered most SMEs ineligible for financing, a situation Kinyanjui noted had been worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“With reduced turnover and Covid-19 disruptions in the market and supply chains, many Small and Medium Enterprises are unlikely to attract affordable and quality credit under the traditional arrangements,” Kinyanjui added.

He was flanked by KCB head of Commercial Division Wanjeri Kihara, KCB Director Retail Banking Anastacia Kimutai Deputy Governor Dr Eric Korir, County Executive Committee Member for Trade and Tourism Raymond Komen Trade and County Attorney Caleb Nyamwange.

Under the deal, SME entrepreneurs will be equipped with skills in online marketing opportunities, record keeping, productivity and quality management, business registration and legal issues among others. They will also be trained on maintaining books of account and making tax returns.

The County administration signed similar deals with the SBM, Diamond Trust and Stanbic banks.

Kinyanjui stated there was a growing need for entrepreneurs to join the digital market to expose Kenyan goods to the global market.He called on the dominant small and micro-enterprise sector in the country to exploit the increased online purchases for growth.“Now more than ever, we need to be innovative to help cushion businesses from the impact of the COVID-19 […]

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