The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) and Equity have signed an MOU that has seen Equity set aside Ksh 200 billion for KNCCI members to access as part of the post COVID-19 financial support for businesses.

The partnership will see the two institutions provide a financial and training framework to a potential 3 million enterprises hence increasing their financial inclusion, access to credit and capacity building.

Under the agreement, both parties will undertake joint activities to empower businesses countrywide financially and to build their capacity through programmes aligned to business operations development which include training and capacity building through enhanced coaching and business mentorship.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, KNCCI President Richard Ngatia, emphasized that the partnership will see both Equity and KNCCI work together to support the development of financial solutions that will address the needs of Kenyan businesses and entrepreneurs.

“Chamber members across the country now have a reason to be happy. We have made the conscious decision to walk the journey with them and to support them when they need us the most. By partnering with Kenya’s largest bank, we are increasing opportunities for our members and giving them access to Equity’s resources in terms of manpower, financial resources and a comprehensive training curriculum that will see their business grow.”

Commenting on the partnership, Equity Group Chief Commercial Officer Polycarp Igathe said that the Bank is committed to supporting local business to survive, recover and thrive post COVID-19 and to help them create more jobs.

“In line with our purpose of transforming lives , giving dignity and expanding opportunities for wealth creation, we want to see SMEs in Kenya grow and rise above the economic challenges brought about by COVID-19. This partnership will see Equity customers and KNCCI members benefit from access to credit facilities, training, business development, mentorship and coaching thus resulting in enterprise and overall industry growth.”

The partnership will target SMEs operating within key sectors of the economy including education, agriculture and agribusiness, the health sector and the manufacturing sector as well as target women and youth entrepreneurs in the country. Businesses are also set to benefit from competitive interest rates and flexible repayment periods of up to three (3) years on their loan facilities.

Equity and KNCCI County Chapters in all 47 counties will establish working committees that will spearhead the training and lending to SMEs in an effort to solve the mismatch in financial inflows and outflows resulting in improved industry performance, increased job creating and increased financial literacy in Kenya.