Kisumu county on Tuesday, 15th played host to stakeholders from Kakamega,Vihiga, Busia, Bungoma and Siaya to take part in the public consultative forums on the proposed Financial Inclusion Fund, Hustlers Fund Regulations,2022.
The stakeholders were drawn from county leaders, MCA’s, business community representatives, persons living with disabilities, boda boda operators and other MSME players.
Speaking during the forum Kisumu County Commissioner Josephine Ouko said that the project will be a big relief to small-scale traders who cannot afford the interest rates required by commercial lenders for one to qualify for a loan.
The reception of the fund so far is good, we are hoping that the small-scale businesses will receive money that will enable them support their businessKisumu County Commissioner Josephine Ouko
“The reception of the fund so far is good, we are hoping that the small-scale businesses will receive money that will enable them support their business,” she said.
“Finding money to start a business has always been a challenge because of the expensive interest rates from shylocks and other money lending institutions,” she furthered.
True hustler debate
Among the issues raised was who was a true hustler to qualify for the fund with some of the stakeholders decrying the high interest rates.
What Mwananchi was expecting was a government fund with an interest of maybe not more than 3%, but this one of 10% is very unattractiveJoackim Oketch
Kondele MCA Joakim Oketch said that the hustler fund is unattractive and unfriendly to the youths.
Speaking during an interview with Lake Region Bulletin, the MCA decried the high-interest cap on the fund suggesting that many Kenyans are shying away for fear of being auctioned in case of default on payment.
“During their campaigns the President said the loan will be free, and now that the government has come up with loans at 9% the youth will not be able to pay back the loan,” he said.
He went ahead to state, “What Mwananchi was expecting was a government fund with an interest of maybe not more than 3%, but this one of 10% is very unattractive.”
Busia County Commissioner Kipchumba Ruto also said that the aim of the project was to support the hustlers and there will be no intermediaries before people receive the fund.
“We will ensure that the money starts from the mama mboga not the people at the top and there will be no intermediaries,” he said.
All the 47 counties have been grouped into three clusters to hold the forums.
All the meetings will run from 8 am to 2 pm.
Respective county Commissioners are expected to mobilize the target groups for the fund.
The Sh.50 billion Hustler fund was one of Kenya Kwanza’s campaign promise to help boost the country’s economy by availing affordable credit facilities to small scale business operators.
To qualify for the Hustler Fund, one must be above18 years and hold a valid national ID card.
Beneficiaries will be members of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), SACCO societies, merry go rounds and table banking groups, or any other registered association.
President William Ruto will officially launch the Fund on December 1st.