Safaricom Foundation through its economic empowerment programme has partnered with Hand in Hand Eastern Africa to support four hundred self-help groups with access to microloans. The foundation will invest Kshs. 12 million in the project with the aim of supporting over five thousand enterprises. This is part of the foundation’s support to those affected by the economic impact of 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 which was launched in 2015 over 5,900 new enterprises were created and incubated. Additionally, over 6,000 loans disbursed.
“Supporting and partnering with communities has always been core to Safaricom for the last twenty 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. We are now looking at how we can spur recovery of enterprises which have been affected by the economic disruptions caused by the pandemic. Through this microloan facility, we are aiming at sustaining over ten thousand jobs,” said Sylvia Mulinge, trustee, Safaricom Foundation.
Hand in Hand East Africa mobilizes, trains and prepares the beneficiaries to access micro loans which range between Kshs. 10,000 and Kshs. 30,000. The financing is disbursed through mobile phones and the loans are payable in three to twelve months.
“The Hand in Hand East Africa 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. Our approach sees job creation as a highly effective development tool where micro-entrepreneurs are key drivers for economic growth and poverty reduction”, said Albert Wambugu, chief executive officer, Hand in Hand East Africa.
During the first phase, Safaricom Foundation invested Kshs.10 million with thirty per cent of the amount being used for training and capacity building. Since then, the revolving loan pot of Kshs. 7 million has been circulated to reach a disbursement value of over Kshs. 65 million shillings.