Kenya: Sh1b Women's Fund Launched

Dec 2007
Nairobi, Kenya, December, 13 2007 - The Government has launched the Sh1 billion Women Enterprise Development Fund and spelt out its regulatory measures.

Sports and Gender minister, Mr Maina Kamanda, released the first Sh215 million tranche to 12 micro-finance institutions that would give out loans to women at the grassroots.

Among the financial intermediaries that received the money are Kenya Women Finance Trust (Sh45 million), Family Bank (Sh33 million), Kenya Industrial Estates (Sh33 million) Co-operative Bank (Sh30 million), Small and Medium Micro-Enterprise Programme (Sh20 million), K-Rep (Sh5 million), Pamoja Women (Sh20 million), Business Initiative and Management Assistance Services (Sh10 million), Jitegemea Credit Scheme (Sh5 million) and Gusii Farmers Rural Sacco (Sh6 million).

More than 100,000 women organisations will benefit from the kitty and are expected to repay the loan three months after disbursement in 12 instalments.

The minister said that the timing of the funds should not be viewed suspiciously.

"The idea of a women's fund was mooted two years ago and we have since been setting up structures that would regulate its distribution," he said at a press conference.

From the fund, Sh640 million will be channelled through micro-finance institutions to lend to recognised women enterprises.

In addition, each constituency will receive Sh1 million with a group getting Sh50, 000.

"This money will help women who cannot access the kitty from micro-finance institutions," Kamanda said.

An advisory board of 11 members and whose mandate is to regulate the funds, has been allocated Sh100 million for administrative purposes.


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