Equity Bank has rolled out Sh200 billion-kitty to support small businesses in Kenya as part of its efforts to mitigate the impact on Covid-19 on the country’s entrepreneurial landscape. Equity Bank launched the kitty in collaboration with the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI).
The Sh200 billion-kitty will benefit the private sector in fighting against the pandemic. It is reported that the loan includes a repayment period of up to three years with single digit rates. These rates are well below the market rates.
Richard Ngatia, the KNCCI President said in a statement, “The bank committed 200 billion to support chamber finance business activities, train and build the capacity of 3 million members across the country, work county chapter leadership to enable credit facilities, appraisals, support regional businesses, promote and protect jobs and enterprises.”
Mastercard, Equity Group Chief Executive Officer James Mwangi, and Equity Bank contributed a total Sh1.1 billion to the Covid-19 response kitty, media reports said.
Startups are vital to Kenya’s economic development in many ways. However, the pandemic’s impact on their growth has been quite evident. Last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta lowered the turnover tax rate from three percent to one percent for micro, small and medium enterprises.
Previously, other major organisations including Safaricom granted a 50GB data bundle to the Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund, in addition to 3,500 voice call minutes and 10,000 SMSs to 15 members of the fund. To date, Kenya has received a lot of support from banks and telcos in helping the people and businesses to combat the serious effects of the pandemic.