• Governor Ali Korane launched the Sh150 million fund last month.
• County government keen to tackle poverty and promote entrepreneurship
Small and medium enterprises are crucial to the growth of the Garissa economy if well managed.
Trade and Enterprise Development executive Adow Jubat on Friday said many residents cannot access loans from financial institutions because they have no collateral.
He spoke at the end of a three-day training programme for county revolving fund officers drawn from seven subcounties.
The county has set up the fund to support small businesses. Residents have to apply to benefit.
Governor Ali Korane launched the Sh150 million fund last month. He said it will boost efforts to tackle poverty and promote entrepreneurship. Korane said the county's unexploited potential is huge among the youth, women, and people living with disabilities. The fund will enable them to exploit their potential for prosperity, he said.
On Friday, Jubat said the fund is an opportunity for women, the youth, and people living with disabilities to get cash to support their ventures. In the long run, they will contribute to the growth of the county economy.
“The governor has been categorical that his administration's dream is to economically empower a significant segment of the population that has been marginalised for decades despite their numerical strength,” Jubat said.
“Many of our financial institutions cannot offer any loan facility without collateral. Many of our women, youths and people living with disabilities don’t have log books, title deeds and other documents that are required by banks to offer loans.”
He urged the youth, especially those in the rural areas, to form groups, apply for the funds and use it for business startups. That will go a long way in creating reducing unemployment that leads many youths into crime, he said.
“We all know that our county is located at the border with Somalia. Having hundreds of youths with no gainful activity is a ticking time bomb. There is always a danger of having them radicalised and being a security threat to our county and country at large.”
Jubat sought to allay fears that the funds will be issued out based on political affiliation and clannism.
“Everybody has the right to access this money. Garissa is a cosmopolitan county and everybody who qualifies will be given. You don’t have to know anybody in government who is from your clan or be related to benefit from the kitty,” he said.
(Edited by F'Orieny)