Kenya launches $45 million fund to finance SMBs

Mar 16, 2011

The Kenyan government has launched a $45 million (€32.3 million) fund to facilitate small and medium-sized businesses' (SMBs') access to credit.

A total of $8.7 million worth of loans has already been allocated to the fund by the treasury.

Three banks are expected to match each shilling made available by the government by five shillings, bringing the fund to a total $45 million.

"Our overall objective is to ensure that our [medium-sized enterprise] sector becomes efficient, innovative and has a competitive project range and transform it into a more formal sector," Finance Minister Mr Kenyatta said during the launch of the fund in Nairobi on March 14th, Xinhua news agency reports.

The minister mentioned that one of the major obstacles to the growth of SMBs has been the high cost of borrowing, adding the fund would offer competitive interest rates.

He explained that the government would take the necessary measures so that the SMB sector can fully take its place as one of the key drivers of economic growth, job creation and reduction of poverty.