Stanbic Bank Kenya and United States African Development Foundation (USADF) have unveiled Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) winners of the Ksh.33 million grant facility.
The seven winners of the grant were selected from 500 applicants across the country who demonstrated resilience and promise to grow and manage their businesses in a sustainable way.
During the selection, the winners were able to show how their businesses will have an impact and transform underserved and at-risk communities, more so young women, youth and other marginalized groups.
They include; Organic Diaries Limited, Tropical Lush Limited, Meditrust Healthcare Services, Organic Fields, Tarakwo Diaries Company Limited and Tovuti Group each winning Ksh.5million in grant while SunSweet Fruit Farm Products won Ksh.3 million.
“What we are seeing today is definitely a boost in our efforts as Government to help businesses recover from the pandemic,” said Chief Administration Secretary, Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development, Mr. Lawrence Karanja.
The grant funds will be issued under the Accelerate Program which aims to position Kenyan businesses for success while addressing the skills gap in the country by boosting entrepreneurship and employability of citizens through digital literacy and upskilling, career development and providing funds (grants) and access to markets.
So far, the program has managed to reach over 850 small businesses, providing them with both financial and non-financial support.
Stanbic Bank Chief Executive Charles Mudiwa said the Accelerate Programme has given businesses the much-needed impetus towards growth.
“We are happy with the progress we are making thus far because through joint efforts with our partners, we continue to drive economic growth by supporting our MSMEs who create jobs for hundreds of individuals across the country,” said Mudiwa.
Amidst economic headwinds due to COVID-19 pandemic, Mudiwa expects the ripple effect for the programme to be realized in months to come after Kenya eased pandemic-indused-curfew on October 20.
With 7.4 million Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya who employ about 14.9 million people, the lender is leveraging this demography with its Financial Fitness Academy to train individuals on how to take a holistic approach to their financial affairs.
SMEs in Kenya contribute approximately 40 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDPs).
USADF Regional Representative for Africa, Mr. Timothy Nzioka underscored the organization’s contribution in developing, growing and scaling African enterprises and entrepreneurs to improve lives and livelihoods.
“The support we are providing in this project will catalyze sustainable economic growth opportunities for small and growing enterprises in underserved regions in the country,” he emphasized.
Stanbic Foundation said its keen on creating jobs, enterprise development and facilitating learning programmes as it works closely with the Government’s Biashara Training Centres, with plans to donate 400 computers across the country.
This is, however, not the first time the two partners are realising grant issuance to small businesses in the country.
In 2020, Stanbic Bank and USADF signed a Ksh.1.1 billion (US$.10,000,000) credit facility for MSMEs, cooperatives, and producer groups in Kenya.
The facility will be disbursed over the next 5 years, targeting 100 percent Kenyan-owned, managed and legally registered MSMEs in Kenya.