Safaricom Foundation has partnered with non-governmental organisation, Hand in Hand Eastern Africa, to support self-help groups with micro-loans.
The foundation will invest Sh12 million in the project with an aim of reaching over 5,000 enterprises as part of its support during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The project, which is in its second phase, will be rolled out in Busia, Kajiado, Migori, Baringo, Nakuru and Nairobi counties.
During the first phase that was launched in 2015, more than 5,900 new enterprises were created and incubated with over 6,000 loans disbursed, according to the foundation.
“Supporting and partnering with communities has always been core to Safaricom for the last 20 years. During this Covid-19 period we have ensured that our interventions in areas such as health, education and hygiene impacts the communities most affected,” said the foundation’s trustee Sylvia Mulinge.
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“We are now looking at how we can spur the recovery of enterprises which have been affected by the economic disruptions caused by the pandemic. Through this micro-loan facility, we hope to sustain over 10,000 jobs,” she said.
Hand in Hand mobilises, trains and prepares beneficiaries to access micro-loans which range between Sh10,000 and Sh30,000. The financing is disbursed through mobile phones and the loans are payable in three to 12 months.
“The enterprise development model is premised on the need to create sustainable income generating activities by addressing major challenges facing many small-scale farmers and entrepreneurs,” said the NGO’s Chief Executive Albert Wambugu.
“Our approach sees job creation as a highly effective development tool where micro-entrepreneurs are key drivers for economic growth and poverty reduction,” he added.