SMEs hugely reap from KNCCI-Mastercard Foundation covid relief program
Miss Emily Mumbi Gateru, a grocer and a two-time beneficiary of the partnership showing off her commodities thanks to the interest free loan courtesy on KNCCI and the Mastercard Foundation. (Photo Credit: KNCCI-Nairobi)
The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) forged a partnership with the Mastercard Foundation On 15th September 2020 at the height of corona virus pandemic, dubbed ‘The Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience Program’, to assist Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) from the economic oblivion through an interest free (zero fee short-term concessional) loan.
Approximately, 249 Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Nairobi County (KNCCI-Nairobi) Chapter members, from MSMEs benefited from a disbursement of ksh. 14,647,083 (million) through the partnership.
The program targeted 15,000 KNCCI members’ businesses run by youth (18-35 years), women-owned (18-70 years) and enterprises supporting large number of youth (18-35 years) as well as 85,000 KNCCI association members affected by the covid-19 pandemic from the jua kali, fashion, hawking, retail and hotel industries.
The main objective of the program was to help the MSMEs to foster business continuity and sustainability.
Speaking against the backdrop of new KNCCI-Nairobi County members’ induction forum at IHIT, KNCCI-Nairobi County Vice Chairperson and Chair Women in Business Miss. Cynthia Nyawira noted that hundreds of businesses and thousands of households had been positively transformed as a result of the interest-free loan despite the ravaging economic effects of the covid-19 pandemic
Miss Emily Mumbi Gateru, a grocer and a two-time beneficiary of the project hailed the initiative remarking that her business got a tremendous boost as it was also cushioned against collapse.
“The interest-free loan breathed life into my grocery business, while other businesses were going under and others closing shop the Mastercard loan through Chamber sustained mine,” Gateru noted,”I took the second loan after repaying the first within the first two months.”
Urging other small businesses and enterprises to register and become KNCCI- Nairobi chapter members, Miss Gateru noted that the chapter had so much untapped opportunities for MSMEs, women and the youth.
“One can only harness such well thought out initiatives by becoming a bona fide KNCCI member,” she added.
Sentiments shared by Miss Joyce Andia, a second hand clothes vendor at Kibira market and also a two-time beneficiary of the interest free loan.
Miss Joyce Andia inspecting one of her many dresses during an interview with KNCCI-Nairobi at Kibira market. She is a three-time beneficiary of the interest free loan by KNCCI and Mastercard Foundation.
“I got my first Ksh. 30,000 in October, repaid it within a month and took another one and did the same to the third one,” she added “ It was such a smooth and transparent process”.
Miss Andia adds that the interest-free loan helped sustain her business despite the scorching heat of the pandemic.
“Before the interest-free loan program, most of our local businesses struggled to keep up but with it commodity subsidies has been possible to clients,” she said.
The program was rolled out across the 47 counties through KNCCI county chapters.