KENYA – The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) has received KSh2.2 million (US$19,362) from the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) which will be directed towards providing affordable loan financing to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
The donation is part of KSh4.8 million (US$42,245) raised during the sixth Annual NSE Charity Trading Day held in 2021.
The NSE Charity Trading Day is an annual event that provides an opportunity for capital market players to come together and address socio-economic challenges in NSEs sustainability.
MSME support kitty was started in 2020 as a mitigation measure to avoid the collapse of small businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking during the cheque handover ceremony, KEPSA CEO Carole Kariuki said that MSMEs were the most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic with various challenges such as financial distress, lower consumer demand, lower market access, supply chain disruptions as well as increased cost of operation.
“We always have to appreciate our small businesses and assist them to grow. In so doing we started the Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience Program in partnership with Mastercard Foundation, aimed at supporting 400 SMEs with interest-free loans of up to 1.5 million repayable within 6 months,” added Kariuki.
NSE Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Odundo said that NSE in 2020 supported national efforts to address the adverse effects of the pandemic, jointly contributing KSh30 million (US$0.26m) with other stakeholders towards the COVID -19 Emergency Response Fund.
“In 2021 we focused our attention on supporting SMEs to withstand the effects of the pandemic. Without a doubt, SMEs are the backbone of our economy and we are alive to the fact that the pandemic has brought about its fair share of challenges in the last two years which has greatly affected the economy,” said Odundo.
KEPSA has since disbursed more than KSh42 million (US$0.37m) in short-term interest and collateral-free loans to 106 businesses through the Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience Program. 67 out of the 106 beneficiaries also successfully received loan beneficiary training administered via both SMS and online learning.
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