About 90 small scale traders in Kirinyaga county have benefited from an interest-free loan which is being disbursed by the local Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The institution has since disbursed Sh2 million to such traders to enable them to boost their business following the advent of the coronavirus which has adversely affected them.
The local Chapter Chairman Waweru Njogu said the loan program was under the umbrella body of the Master Card Foundation which sources for the funds.
He said only traders whose business were in existence before the Covid virus struck were eligible for the loans since they were adversely affected by the pandemic.
“We have targeted this cadre of traders whose business were adversely affected after the pandemic struck our country in March this year.
We want them back on their two feet and once this is accomplished, then we can bring in the upcoming ones,” he said.
Njogu said already his organization had received Sh6 million for the sole purpose of benefiting small scale traders. He asked youths, women, and other organized groups to take advantage of this soft loan and increase their economic potential through conducting small business ventures.
The official was speaking at the Kutus town Anglican church compound when he met the program beneficiaries and those seeking to secure such loans.
A Social Director for Youth from the Office of the President Elizabeth Mueni who was present the occasion urged youths to get out of the formal employment syndrome and think self-employment.
“Most of our youth have been stuck in the formal employment syndrome while there is a paradigm shift from this school of thought to informal employment which guarantees ready and direct employment,” she said.
She urged the traders to go for the collateral-free loan being offered by the foundation and jump start their collapsed business.
There has been disquiet with the local traders accusing the local Chapter Chairman Waweru Njogu of abandoning the traders during the Covid 19 pandemic period.
“We want to see more involvement of our leaders in solving our day-to-day woes involving our small business,” the traders said.
By Irungu Mwangi | Kenya