NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 6 – KCB Group has announced a Sh50 billion commitment towards boosting youth entrepreneurship, offering fresh opportunities to thousands of budding entrepreneurs.
Through KCB social investment arm, KCB Foundation, the lender will use the funds to support entrepreneurs under its youth enterprise flagship programme 2jiajiri.
Entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to access funding at single digit interest rates under the programme.
The programme aims to support young entrepreneurs to gain access to finance, enabling them to become self-employed and create employment for other young people countrywide.
In 2018, the KCB disbursed a total of Sh18.3 billion in funding local SMEs, additionally, KCB has advanced a total of Sh4.4 billion to 17,146 Micro SMEs to finance their growth, while another 10,519 SME customers have accessed Sh13.9 billion in loans.
“The fact is, our young people are ambitious, driven and have proven to us over and over that they have the ability to transform this country, if only they are given a chance. The purpose of the funding is for startup and working capital for beneficiaries under the programme,” said KCB Group CEO and MD Joshua Oigara.
KCB launched 2jiajiri in 2016, a programme that seeks to formalize the informal sector and skill for self-employment targeting the youth and small businesses.
It focuses on growing youth micro-businesses in the informal sector and bring them to a place where they can employ at least 5 other young people with an aim of creating 250,000 jobs in five years.
So far, KCB has skilled 23, 059 of which 47 per cent are female and 53 percent male youth beneficiaries on technical skills and financial literacy across the country in the five sectors – Construction Automotive Services Domestic Services Beauty & Personal Care and Agriculture.
“We are committed to scaling up the investment to build small enterprises as they offer the greatest potential to self-employment. They will now be able to access financing which will allow them to grow and therefore absorb the skilled workforce,” Oigara said while speaking at a graduation ceremony for 10,000 2jiajiri graduates held at the Nairobi on Thursday.