Uhuru unveils Sh100 billion credit line in youth job creation drive
SEE ALSO: Renewables top 90pc of Kenya’s powerThe President said the benefits of such a partnership would create a ripple effect and generate employment for others. “When small firms and entrepreneurs access financial services, they obtain the resources they require to grow, expand into new markets and opportunities, create jobs and establish inter-generational wealth.” Uhuru said that over the five-year period, MasterCard will provide Sh10 billion to KCB against their contribution of Sh50 billion, and Sh7.2 billion to Equity Group against their contribution of Sh32 billion. Mastercard CEO Reeta Roy said that the initiative would be aligned to Kenya’s economic agenda by targeting industries that are ‘work destinations’ for a skilled workforce, grow the private sector especially entrepreneurs and small businesses, and partner with the educational system and leverage on technology. “Across the continent there is an insatiable appetite for young people with the right digital skills and this demand will only grow,” Ms Roy said.
SEE ALSO: It pays to put cash in empowering peopleShe said the reasons for implementing the Young Africa Works in Kenya initiative were because of the Government’s drive to create an enabling environment for businesses, the country’s entrepreneurial spirit especially in the digital space, and the fact that the firm’s programmes had benefited two million people in the country. “We intend to enable five million young Kenyans to find dignifying and fulfilling work. Initially, the Foundation has committed Sh30 billion to implement the strategy,” she said. Mastercard Foundation Manager, Programme Communications Kristy Tomkinson said youth who want to access the loans should get in touch with the two banks. “We are taking existing systems and infrastructure and taking it to scale. Interested individuals can reach out to KCB and Equity directly. With Young Africa Works in Kenya initiative, it will now be easier to access finance,” she told The Standard. KCB CEO Joshua Oigara said the programme would be “holistic that builds businesses within an ecosystem”. “We have committed up to Sh50 billion in the next five years to run and support these enterprises in addition to business development, training, mentorship and market linkages.” Informal sector Equity CEO James Mwangi said they would help support 600,000 MSMEs especially in the informal sector to ensure that they formalise their businesses. “This will help us integrate the informal and formal sectors so that the divide that has always been in this country gets scrapped slowly,” Mr Mwangi said. The CEO said in the first 18 months, Equity had set a target of funding 140,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs). “There is Sh100 billion funding that will catalyse the SMEs to create five new jobs each.” Mwangi said that after about three-and-a-half years, the bank would target another 140,000 entrepreneurs who will be supported by a funding of Sh320 billion. “In total, the Equity Group will be providing Sh420 billion over five years to that segment of SMEs and supporting them in business development services and market linkages.”
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