Safaricom Foundation through its economic empowerment programme has partnered with Hand in Hand Eastern Africa (HiH EA) NGO to support 400 self-help groups with access to microloans. The foundation will invest KES 12 million in the project with the aim of supporting over 5,000 enterprises. This is part of the foundation’s support to those affected by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The project which is in its second phase will be rolled out in Busia, Kajiado, Migori, Baringo, Nakuru and Nairobi counties. During the first phase which was launched in 2015 over 5,900 new enterprises were created and incubated with over 6,000 loans disbursed.
“Supporting and partnering with communities has always been core to Safaricom for the last 20 years. During this COVID-19 period we have ensured that our interventions in areas such as health, education and hygiene impacts the communities most affected. We are now looking at how we can spur recovery of enterprises which have been affected by the economic disruptions caused by the pandemic. Through this microloan facility, we are looking to sustain over 10, 000 jobs”, said Sylvia Mulinge, Trustee, Safaricom Foundation.
HiH EA mobilizes, trains and prepares the beneficiaries to access micro loans which range between KES 10,000 and KES 30,000. The financing is disbursed through mobile phones and the loans are payable in three to twelve months.
“The HiH EA enterprise development model is premised on the need to create sustainable income generating activities by addressing major challenges facing many small-scale farmers and entrepreneurs. Our approach sees job creation as a highly effective development tool where micro-entrepreneurs are key drivers for economic growth and poverty reduction”, said Albert Wambugu- Chief Executive Officer, HiH EA.
During the first phase Safaricom Foundation invested KES 10 million with 30% of the amount being used for training and capacity building. Since then the revolving loan pot of KES 7 million has been circulated to reach a disbursement value of over KES 65 million shillings.