• Kabuchu said the funds are aimed at reviving small businesses that have been adversely affected by Covid-19.
• Beneficiaries are supposed to repay the loans within two months after which they can reapply for more funds.
Mastercard Foundation and the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry have launched interest-free loans for businesses in Garissa county.
Mastercard Foundation project coordinator Louis Kabuchu said eligible members will receive short-term revolving interest-free loans of between Sh1,000 and Sh31,000.
She said the purpose, which is targeting youth and women, is to bridge the financing gap since micro, small and medium enterprises hardly qualify for loans from mainstream financial institutions.
The coordinator said over Sh300 million has already been disbursed to hundreds of beneficiaries in various counties in the Sh600 million project.
Kabuchu said the funds are aimed at reviving small businesses that have been adversely affected by Covid-19.
“The kitty will target mostly mama mboga, boda boda operators, hawkers and mkokoteni, amongst others small traders,” she said in Garissa.
“We encourage youth aged between 18 and 35 years and women aged between 18 and 70 years to apply for this loan. It’s an interest-free loan that does not have so many conditions to be obtained.”
Beneficiaries are supposed to repay the loans within two months after which they can reapply for more funds.
She also encouraged members to have records of their businesses.
Kabuchu said the key objective of the programme is to ensure economic sustainability, inclusivity and resilience.
KNCCI vice president Fatma Elmaawy encouraged small business owners to take the opportunity to bolster their businesses.
Elmaaway called on local businessmen and women alike to join the chamber of commerce for training and other benefits. She said the chamber of commerce safeguards businesses.
Traders have been trained in the process of applying for the funds as well as eligibility criteria. The event was attended by Garissa county chamber of commerce coordinator Omar Sadiq.