1.5 billion shillings in interest-free loans for women-led businesses


Economy

1.5 billion shillings in interest-free loans for women-led businesses


Women-led businesses are set to receive emergency funding of 1.5 billion shillings through a partnership between the MasterCard Foundation and the WomenWork Network. PHOTO FILE | NMG

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Summary

  • Women-led businesses are set to receive emergency funding of 1.5 billion shillings through a partnership between the MasterCard Foundation and the WomenWork Network.
  • The program called Rebuild will provide interest-free loans repayable in two months to 25,000 members of the WomenWork Network.
  • The loans will only be disbursed to micro and small enterprises headed by women and, once repaid, the entrepreneur can reapply for financing.

Women-led businesses are set to receive emergency funding of 1.5 billion shillings through a partnership between the MasterCard Foundation and the WomenWork Network.

The program called Rebuild will provide interest-free loans repayable in two months to 25,000 members of the WomenWork Network.

The loans will only be disbursed to micro and small enterprises headed by women and, once repaid, the entrepreneur can reapply for financing.

“We know that even in ordinary times, women-owned businesses have difficulty accessing lines of credit. Such challenges were exacerbated during these extraordinary days and motivated the Mastercard Foundation to support a program with strong intentionality, ”said Daniel Hailu, Mastercard Foundation regional manager for Eastern and Southern Africa.

“We aim to protect the work opportunities offered by participating companies and to mitigate the tendency of the pandemic to exacerbate gender inequalities. “

According to Isis Nyong’o, co-founder of WomenWork Network, women-led businesses struggle to obtain funding from traditional institutions because of collateral requirements.

“We are aware that many businesses are facing significant challenges and have closed or are about to close. We hope that our emergency funding will allow women to survive the devastating effects of Covid-19 on their businesses and hopefully protect themselves against impending job losses and stabilize their businesses during this time, ”said said Asha Mweru, co-founder of WomenWork Network.

The program will run by next year with businesses that have been operational for at least six eligible months.

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