- Organic Diaries Limited, Tropical Lush Limited, Meditrust Healthcare Services and Organic Fields are some of the winners of the KSh 33 million 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
- So far, the program has managed to reach over 850 small businesses, providing them with both financial and non-financial support
Kenya’s Stanbic Bank has unveiled the 7 recipients of a new KSh 33 million grant fund.
Through its Accelerate Programme, the bank signed Stanbic Foundation and United States African Development Foundation (USADF) to hand over the funding to the businesses.
The Fund’s recipients, who were selected out of over 500 applicants across the country, include Organic Diaries Limited, Tropical Lush Limited and Meditrust Healthcare Services.
Others are Organic Fields, Tarakwo Diaries Company Limited and Tovuti Group who won KSh 5 million in grant while SunSweet Fruit Farm Products won KSh 3 million.
The bank said the funding is part of its quest to help small businesses reach their potential and contribute to the country’s economic development.
According to the Stanbic Bank, the Accelerate Program aims to position Kenyan businesses for success while addressing the skills gap in the country.
This is achieved by boosting entrepreneurship and employability of citizens through digital literacy and upskilling, career development and providing funds (grants) and access to markets.
The new recipients join hundreds of others who have benefitted from similar grants.
“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,” the bank said.
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 per cent Kenyan-owned, managed and legally registered MSMEs in Kenya.
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).
Boost to recovery efforts
Speaking during the event, Chief Administration Secretary, Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development, 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, 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,” Mudiwa added.
On his part, USADF Regional Representative for Africa, 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, 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.
The funding comes months after the bank 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.