NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 4 – World Bank and the State Department of Industrialisation have launched a $50 million fund that is focused on increasing innovation and productivity in select private sector firms.
Dubbed Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship, the project is set to be implemented by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives.
Speaking during the launch of the project, World Bank Country Director, Eritrea, Kenya and Uganda Fellipe Jaramillo said Kenya has been given a period of 30 years to repay the loan used to support the project.
“The concessional credit line from the global lender will pe repaid over the next 30 years with a 2 per cent interest rate,” he said.
The global lender said it is majorly focused on supporting the Small and Medium Enterprises archive their goals since the majority struggle to get capital.
Principal Secretary, State Department of Investment and Industry Betty Maina said the credit is not for an individual SME but is focused on supporting enablers and hubs.
“We have great ambitions and it will help us benefit we want to encourage the startup and hubs to help shape the status of the activity, she said.
“I urge all beneficiaries to participate in the project to strengthen Kenya’s development space,” she added.
Program Coordinator, State Department and Industrialization Stephen Odua said the project is aligned to the government’s big four agenda.
“This project greatly supports the government’s major goals especially manufacturing and since 2017, the project piloted several innovative approaches,” he said.
Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship Project will run for six years where it is divided into two levels, the ecosystem level where it has accelerators, boot camps and the firm level such as SME upgrading and linkages.
The ministry has now said it will focus on training innovators on how they can enhance productivity once they receive funding.
The small medium enterprises have had challenges in expanding their business due to lack of enough capital.
Last month, the government said it will set up a Sh2 billion fund which will be used to guarantee small businesses when they seek loans in banks but lack collateral.
The government will play a role similar to a Sacco where members’ contributions can be used to guarantee each other, allowing for loans up to three times the deposits.