It is good tidings for youths after the National Treasury unveiled a consolidated fund to provide monies for their enterprises.
In his 2019/20 budget speech Cabinet secretary Henry Rotich collapsed Uwezo Fund, Youth Enterprise Development Fund and Women Enterprise Development Fund into one.
Dubbed Biashara Kenya Fund, Rotich said the move cures overlaps and unnecessary red tapes that have frustrated those seeking loans. The fund will give priority to businesses owned by youths, women and people living with disabilities.
“The regulations establishing the new fund have been published after being subjected to stakeholder consultations and I will be submitting them to this House today,” said Rotich.
To further improve access to credit for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, the fund will be complemented by Stawi, a mobile phone lending platform designed as a collaborative initiative to bridge the access to credit. Stawi, offers unsecured loans to small enterprises and will be managed by five banks.
Through the ICT ministry, the academia, the civil society and the private sector, Treasury also set up a programme known as Ajira Digital Programme designed to bridge the gap between skills available and skills demand.
“The major objective of the programme is to enable more than a million youths annually be engaged as digital freelance workers. To provide stability for the youth engaged in this initiative, the government has proposed that the youth registered in the programme pay a registration fee of Sh10,000 for the next three years in lieu of income tax with effect from January 1, 2020,” Rotich said.