The Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) has donated Shs 2.2 million to the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), which will be used to provide cheap credit financing to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
The money was raised during the sixth Annual NSE Charity Trading Day in 2021, which raised Shs 4.8 million.
The NSE Charity Trading Day is an annual event that brings together capital market participants to solve socio-economic concerns that threaten the NSE’s long-term viability.
The MSME assistance kitty was established in 2020 as a precautionary measure to prevent small enterprises from collapsing during the Covid-19 epidemic.
KEPSA’s MSME Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience Program
KEPSA’s CEO Carole Kariuki mentioned that SMEs were the most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic facing issues such as financial distress, lower consumer demand, lower market access, supply chain interruptions, and increased operating costs.
“We always have to appreciate our small businesses and assist them to grow. In so doing we started the Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience Program in partnership with Mastercard Foundation, aimed at supporting 400 SMEs with interest-free loans of up to 1.5 million repayable within 6 months,” Carole Kariuki. KEPSA issued the loans between December 2020 and May 2021.
Through the Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience Program, KEPSA has disbursed more than Ksh 42 million in short-term interest and collateral-free loans to 106 firms. Loan beneficiary training was successfully completed by 67 of the 106 beneficiaries via SMS and online learning.
“Without a doubt, SMEs are the backbone of our economy and we are alive to the fact that the pandemic has brought about its fair share of challenges in the last two years which has greatly affected the economy,” Odundo.
“NSE in 2020 supported national efforts to address the adverse effects of the pandemic, jointly contributing Ksh. 30 million with other stakeholders towards the COVID -19 Emergency Response Fund,” Geoffrey Odundo, NSE CEO. He added that in 2021, NSE focused its attention on supporting SMEs to withstand the effects of the pandemic.