NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 17 – A section of Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya are set to receive relief funds amounting to Sh 63.9 million from a Germany based pharmaceutical firm, Boehringer Ingelheim.
The funds, which are drawn from a global support program, will target local social enterprises by providing protective materials and medicine donations to healthcare institutions and communities in need.
In a statement, the firm’s chairman of the Board of Managing Directors , Hubertus von Baumbach said the monies are expected to sustain the SMEs’ programmes as the corona virus pandemic continues to affect businesses with many struggling to cover rent, wages and other expenses.
Some of the beneficiaries of the fund include local enterprises such as Access Afya, Healthy Entrepreneurs and Jacaranda Health.
“As a pharmaceuticals company, we feel a strong commitment to offer our help to patients, and to those who help them”, he said.
As of April 17, the disease had infected 246 people with 11 deaths and 53 recoveries leaving more than 10,000 in quarantine.
Kenyan firms saw a much sharper decline in operating conditions in March, leading to a drop in the Purchasing Manager’s Index to 37.5, the second-worst record in the survey’s history.
According to a report done by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), 61 percent of businesses surveyed reported that the Corona virus has had a direct negative impact on their businesses.
Baumbach said the funding is also expected to enable SMEs invest in social entrepreneurial ideas that can help reduce the risk of the Corona virus spreading.
“We offer support through donations and paid-leave volunteering, engage in significant scientific projects and bring relief to communities in developing regions in Kenya and India, with whom we have a decade-long relationship.
“The fund will help social enterprises and their activities to sustain a longer period of low economic activity and will invest in social entrepreneurial ideas that can help reduce the risk of the Corona virus spreading,” he said.