Barclays Bank woos Kisumu with 'cheaper' loans

Barclays Bank is wooing Kisumu residents with 17 per cent interest rate loans for Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Speaking in Kisumu Friday during the launch of 'Wezesha Biashara na Barclays', Country Head of Retail and Business Banking Humphrey Muturi said Kisumu has had a remarkable growth in business in the past year. "We have over 200 SME customers in Kisumu region and this number keeps going up," said Muturi. This is part of Sh30 billion the lender has set aside to finance about 10,000 existing and new SME owners countrywide.

"With financial literacy training we urge our potential customers to acquire loans which are given depending on the cash flow. If the cash flow is good, we will definitely give loans," he said.

Muturi urged Kisumu businessmen and women to take advantage of the subsidised offer. He said the importance of the SME sector could not be ignored. "The sector currently contributes more than half of Kenya's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and provides more than three quarters of all new jobs," said Muturi.

With that, he said, there is significant multiplier effect on the country's economy if the sector is adequately resourced.

Regional Manager Caroline Onyango urged new and existing business owners in Kisumu to take advantage of the subsidy and get loans to advance their businesses.

She said the institution has also rolled out free training to SME owners. The training seminars, she said, will be held in 11 towns across the country and is aimed at enabling business owners  run, create and improve professionalism in the way they structure and run their businesses.

"The financial literacy training, which is part of a wider SME campaign, has so far been carried out in Machakos and Eldoret and has impacted more than 2, 000 business owners," she said.

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