- An MoU signed between Governor Murungi, Trade CAS Karanja and Chief Executive Mudiwa will ensure money supports cooperatives and individuals.
- Funding will be in grants to develop critical infrastructure.
Stanbic Bank has issued Sh1 billion to the Meru government to help support small businesses that were destroyed by the Covid-19 crisis.
Stanbic Bank Foundation will support the micro, small and medium enterprises through its Accelerate programme rolled out this year by providing requisite skills, catalytic funding and access to markets for various sectors and value chains.
The engagement is anchored on a memorandum of understanding signed on Tuesday at Meru headquarters between Governor Kiraitu Murungi, Trade Chief Administrative Secretary Lawrence Karanja and Stanbic Bank chief executive Charles Mudiwa.
“They have come up to assist us deliver Covid-19 post-recovery strategy of 2020-22. The money will be used to support cooperatives and individuals, as long as one is in this programme, with a repayment [rate] of only two percent," Kiraitu said.
CAS Karanja said the ministry and Stanbic are scaling down services as a measure to cushion people.
“We picked five counties for the programme. This is in line with the Africa Continental Free Area, Soko-Moja, Soko Huru implementation and we are coming to the people. Government is there to facilitate an environment conducive to business,” he said.
Mudiwa said the project is the culmination of a partnership with the Trade ministry on how to support SMEs.
Mudiwa said they are addressing a significant skills gap in the country which was also exacerbated by the onset of the pandemic that saw a number of people lose their jobs as they were not equipped to adapt to the changing environment.
“Funding is in grants to develop and do small infrastructure. On capacity building, we have partnered with Microsoft and have been training and transferring skills digitally.
"We will distribute 475 computers nationally. In terms of market opportunities, we are looking at how we provide value addition through the bank for support to SMEs to be able to grow,” Mudiwa said.
The Stanbic Kenya Foundation plans to distribute over 400 computers to facilitate the learning programme, which seeks to equip 50,000 MSEs with digital skills by the end of 2021.