Stanbic Bank Kenya through its Accelerate Program today announced a major milestone in its quest to help small businesses reach their potential and contribute towards the country’s economic development.
The bank, Stanbic Foundation and United States African Development Foundation (USADF) unveiled seven recipients of Ksh 33million Accelerate Grant Fund.
The grant funds are being issued under the Accelerate Program which aims to position Kenyan businesses for success while addressing the skills gap in the country by boosting entrepreneurship and employability of citizens through digital literacy and upskilling, career development and providing funds (grants) and access to markets.
So far, the program has managed to reach over 850 small businesses, providing them with both financial and non-financial support. The bank also runs a Financial Fitness Academy where individuals are trained on how to take a holistic approach to their financial affairs.
There are 7.4 million Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya which employ about 14.9 million people and contribute approximately 40% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDPs).
In 2020, Stanbic Bank and USADF entered into a partnership to provide grants to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), cooperatives, and producer groups in Kenya. A combined total of US$10 million funding will be disbursed over the next 5 years towards this initiative. The entities are targeting 100 percent Kenyan-owned, managed and legally registered MSMEs in Kenya.
Winners of today’s grant funds are Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) who have demonstrated resilience and promise to grow and manage their businesses in a sustainable way. They were selected out of over 500 applicants across the country.
Organic Diaries Limited, Tropical Lush Limited, Meditrust Healthcare Services, Organic Fields, Tarakwo Diaries Company Limited and Tovuti Group each won Ksh 5million in grant while SunSweet Fruit Farm Products won Ksh 3million.
During the selection, the winners were able to show how their businesses will have an impact and transform underserved and at-risk communities, more so young women, youth and other marginalized groups.
Speaking during the event, Chief Administration Secretary, Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development, Mr. Lawrence Karanja said the steps being taken by Stanbic and USADF to support MSMEs were commendable as they are boosting the Government’s Covid-19 recovery efforts.
“What we are seeing today is definitely a boost in our efforts as Government to help businesses recover from the pandemic,” the CAS said.
Stanbic Bank Chief Executive, Mr. Charles Mudiwa said the Accelerate Programme has played a major role in giving businesses the much-needed impetus towards growth, adding that the ripple effect will start being felt in the coming months as businesses continue to recover from the pandemic.
“We are happy with the progress we are making thus far because through joint efforts with our partners, we continue to drive economic growth by supporting our MSMEs who create jobs for hundreds of individuals across the country,” Mr. Mudiwa added.
On his part, USADF Regional Representative for Africa, Mr. Timothy Nzioka underscored the organization’s contribution in developing, growing and scaling African enterprises and entrepreneurs to improve lives and livelihoods.
“The support we are providing in this project will catalyze sustainable economic growth opportunities for small and growing enterprises in underserved regions in the country,” he emphasized.
Head of Stanbic Foundation, Mrs. Pauline Mbayah said they are keen on creating jobs, enterprise development and facilitating learning programmes. She added that working closely with the Government’s Biashara Training Centres, they plan to donate 400 computers across the country.
Early this year, Stanbic Bank also entered into an agreement with the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development and Microsoft to provide digital training to MSMEs, government departments, youth and women. Dubbed Future ni Digital the bank aims to train 1000 trainers and reach at least 500,000 Kenyans in the next 3 years. So far, the bank has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) with Laikipia, Mombasa, Meru and Nakuru counties to provide capacity building and entrepreneurial training programmes.
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