FACILITY

Equity receives Sh500 million Covid-19 SME support loan from IFC

The loan is also part of IFC’s global $8 billion(Sh864trillion) fast-track COVID-19 facility announced in March

In Summary
  • The facility will support Kenyan businesses in the manufacturing, health, trade, transport, and consumer goods sectors.
  • IFC remains committed to scaling investment and advisory support in Kenya, especially within the context of Kenya’s big four agenda
Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi
Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi
Image: FILE

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has extended Sh500 million to Equity for working capital and trade-related lending to its small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) clients.

The facility will support Kenyan businesses in the manufacturing, health, trade, transport, and consumer goods sectors.

“IFC’s loan is part of our business continuity management plan, to help Equity bank extend much-needed support to our clients, particularly to SMEs in sectors hit hard by Covid-19,” Equity group CEO, James Mwangi said.

 

He urged customers looking to seize emerging opportunities in the health and medical sector to manufacture personal protective equipment or support the logistics of the entire ecosystems and value chain to take advantage of the loan.

The loan is also part of IFC’s global $8 billion(Sh864trillion) fast-track COVID-19 facility, announced in March and designed to help businesses maintain operations and jobs during and after the Covid-19 crisis.

"Keeping businesses solvent and protecting jobs are essential parts of IFC’s response to the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19,” IFC country manager, Manuel Moses said.

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted trade and value chains in Kenya, across Africa, and around the world, affecting commodity prices, reducing foreign financing flows, and collapsing tourism revenues.

Smaller businesses are the life blood of Kenya’s economy, accounting for about 81 percent of employment.

IFC’s portfolio in Kenya stood at $884 million(Sh95.5billion) as of June 30, 2020, with investments supporting growth and jobs in the financial, manufacturing, agribusiness, services, infrastructure, and other sectors.

The corporation remains committed to scaling investment and advisory support in Kenya, especially within the context of Kenya’s big four agenda of manufacturing, affordable housing, affordable healthcare, and food security.