Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Mohamed Maalim has cautioned citizens to be self-disciplined with regards to the Hustler fund.
Speaking during the launch of Hustler Funds Public Participation in Nakuru, Mr Maalim emphasised that the funds are not free.
“This will be revolving funds, we must have the discipline to borrow and pay back because it is taxpayers’ money, we are making it easy for purposes of access, you only need your mobile, also we should embrace the culture of saving,” said Maalim.
The launch was attended by the region’s six county commissioners, MPs, MCAs and residents.
The regional commissioner said that it was important for all the stakeholders to give their input before President William Ruto launches the fund on December 1.
He added that county commissioners will be tasked to roll out sensitisation to avoid misinterpretation. “You have the opportunity to not only participate in the regulatory framework but equally prepare for the rollout of the initiative.”
He explained that the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs) survey conducted in 2017 revealed that there are about 7.4 million businesses with 1.5 licences.
“The unlicensed MSMEs operators generate less than Sh5,000 income a month on average, which is below the living wage for one person, This is a clear reflection of the adverse economic environment a majority of these MSMEs are facing,” he said.
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The funds he said will target mainly the informal and unstructured business enterprises that are not attractive to mainstream financial institutions.
The funds are aimed at providing Kenyans at the bottom of the pyramid with affordable working capital and hence protect them from predatory lenders. Patrick Cherop from Baringo said the hustler funds should not be limited to youth and women.
“I have not seen an organisation or institution that supports and empower men, it’s high time you stopped discriminating us and gave us equal opportunities as women and youth,” he said.