Fund to be unveiled in four phases

Written by on 1 November 2022

Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui says the much hyped Sh50 billion Hustlers Fund will be rolled out in four phases.

Speaking yesterday when he was taking over the running of two ministerial dockets from outgoing CSs Peter Munya and Betty Maina on Monday, Chelugui (pictured) said the government will begin with a product aimed at addressing personal finance and the final product will focus on boosting start-ups.

Four products on offer

“We will begin by enumerating small and medium businesses, and on December 1, we are offering four products. The first products will be the personal finance products that are currently under development. We believe beginning today we will not sit down, roll our sleeves and begin to work on a product,” Chelugui explained.

The CS termed the Hustler Fund as an intervention to address the biggest challenge among the youth and owners of small businesses.

The second product targeting micro-business will begin in early 2023, and it will be followed by another product targeting SMEs, and then start-ups.

“Micro-business will be supported through Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOs) and the Chamas which are already in place. I have had a lot of discussions with SASRA, the regulator, and also the Commissioner of Cooperatives so that we can reach out to these established and organized collectives and we can be able to have an immediate impact by working with them,” he said.

Chelugui added the ministry is looking at avenues that will make credit products available to small businesses on digital platforms at affordable rates.

“In the end, we will be looking at the start-up, the young people in college and universities who have great ideas and may need support,” the CS said.

In his Mashujaa Day speech, President William Ruto indicated that ‘hustlers’ will have to participate in a pensions programme in order to access cheap credit.

‘All borrowers on this platform will also participate in a short-term savings plan and long-term pensions programme. Every saving made by borrowers on this platform will be merged by the government of Kenya on a 2:1 ratio to a level to be determined by the programme,’ Ruto said.

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