SAFER: Govt Opens Application for Ksh 7.1 Billion Loans to Small Business, How to apply

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In a bid to aid the recovery of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) reeling from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kenya Development Corporation Limited (KDC) has announced the opening of loan applications under the Supporting Access to Finance and Enterprise Recovery Project (SAFER).

The application window, spanning 21 days, commenced on Tuesday, May 14, and will conclude on June 11.

Under the SAFER initiative, KDC is poised to inject Ksh7.1 billion, aimed at fostering innovation and sustainability within the MSME sector.

Developed in collaboration with the World Bank, the SAFER project seeks to provide crucial access to finance, empowering businesses to fortify their operations and facilitate post-pandemic recovery.

Regulated financial institutions including Savings and Credit Cooperatives under the SACCO Societies Regulatory Authority, Micro Finance Banks regulated by the Central Bank of Kenya, and Commercial Banks with digital lending platforms catering to MSMEs are invited to apply for participation in SAFER.

In a statement released on Tuesday, KDC outlined its mission to partner with these institutions, articulating the Fund’s objective to rejuvenate lending to MSMEs, facilitating their resurgence and long-term growth.

CS Rebecca Miano speaking during her son’s wedding on April 6, 2024.

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Rebecca Miano

The corporation further disclosed its intent to wholesale loans to regulated Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs), ensuring alignment with predetermined criteria and a focus on serving MSMEs across all sectors of the economy.

The financial injection earmarked for MSMEs amounts to Ksh6.8 billion, with KDC proposing to extend loans ranging from Ksh10 million to Ksh500 million to each participating financial institution for onward lending. Although specific interest rates remain undisclosed, loan tenures are set at 60 to 120 months, inclusive of a grace period of up to 12 months.

Through the SAFER initiative, individual microenterprises are poised to gain access to loans ranging from Ksh7,000 to Ksh150,000, while small enterprises will have the opportunity to secure loans ranging from Ksh150,001 to Ksh250,000. These financial provisions aim to cater to the diverse needs of MSMEs, enabling them to address immediate challenges and seize growth opportunities.

Microloans, designed for individual microenterprises, will carry a tenor of up to 18 months, providing flexibility in repayment schedules. On the other hand, small enterprises availing themselves of loans under SAFER will benefit from a longer tenor of up to three years.

Recent findings by the United Nations point to the acute impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on MSMEs, with nearly half (46 per cent) of such enterprises temporarily shuttering operations for over a year.

Micro enterprises, comprising 98 per cent of Kenya’s business landscape, bore the brunt of the crisis, struggling to weather the economic storm even three years post-pandemic onset.

Statistics reveal a stark reality, with a significant proportion of MSMEs scaling down operations during the pandemic, leading to workforce reductions and diminished profitability. Women-led enterprises, in particular, faced heightened challenges, with two-thirds experiencing temporary closures compared to their male and youth-led counterparts.

HOW TO APPLY:

  • Login: Visit the Kenya Development Corporation website at and access the SAFER Portal.
  • Download Requirements: Download the mandatory requirements form provided for reference and compliance from the SAFER Portal.
  • Accept Terms and Conditions: To comply with the Non-Disclosure Agreement requirement, applicants must accept the terms and conditions specified.
  • Create Account: Create an account on the SAFER Portal to initiate the application process.
  • Fill Details: Provide all required details in the application form and attach the necessary documents as per the provided application tabs.
  • Submit Application: Once all details and documents are filled in, submit the application through the SAFER Portal.

All applications must be submitted online in PDF format within the stipulated 21-day timeframe, with hard copies expressly prohibited.

Loan application form

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Money254



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