Over 200 local businesses in Kenya have applied for Covid-19 relief loans under a programme run by Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) and Mastercard Foundation.
The first set of beneficiaries have received loans and several more are under review.
The Mastercard Foundation Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience Programme for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) aims to benefit 400 small business whose operations have been adversely affected by the pandemic through the partnership with Kepsa.
The beneficiaries, who include women- and youth-owned enterprises, receive interest-free loans ranging from Sh100,000 to Sh1.5 million without any collateral, and payable within six months.
Business must be Kepsa members either directly or through a member association and must have been in existence for at least six months to be considered eligible to apply.
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"We are working to spur economic recovery with a focus on small businesses, and these loans can be used to restart and rebuild businesses as the pandemic-related restrictions continue to be lifted and recovery begins,” Kepsa Chief Executive Officer Carole Karuga says.
"We anticipate to see more businesses receive funds in due course.” Besides providing loans, the programme also enables MSMEs to share knowledge among them, and provides coaching to businesses on how to navigate the prevailing market disruptions.
The programme was launched in June this year and the loan application period is expected to be closed by the end of January 2021.