In Brief

KCB, Jua Kali lobby sign credit, skilling package

KCB has entered into an agreement with the Kenya National Federation of Jua Kali Associations (KNFJKA) to provide loans as well as skill members of the umbrella body.

In the deal, KCB Bank and the KCB Foundation will support interventions that strengthen participation, coordination, collaboration, cooperation, and synergy within the Jua Kali sector.

Jua Kali association members spread across carpentry, woodcrafts, metalworks, soapstone crafts, leather production, textile products, clay/poetry crafts, beekeeping mechanical engineering, food processing and electrical sub-sectors are set to benefit.

KCB Bank Director of Digital Financial Services Angela Mwirigi said financing and skilling will help in revolutionising the sector.

“The engagement we are unveiling today is a response to the urgent need for players within the Jua Kali sub-sector to tap into more formal entrepreneurial opportunities. KCB Bank Kenya and KCB Foundation will work closely to ensure that your members are well positioned within the skills development eco-system both locally and regionally,” Ms. Angela said.

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Kenya’s Jua Kali sector is hurting under systemic challenges including lack of adequate market for their wares, access to relevant social protection services like pension, insurance, lack of infrastructure, recognition of learnings and skills upgrading framework among others.

“Jua Kali sector can become more competitive by increasing their involvement in formal support initiatives. We, therefore, have an opportunity to link them up to an inclusive financial system that recognizes their skills and appreciates their contribution to the economy,” Ms Angela added.

Kenya National Federation of Jua Kali Associations CEO Richard Muteti lauded KCB, saying the initative will unlock the full potential of the informal sector.

“We shall get the capacity to focus and upscale our entrepreneurial endeavors. As a result, we look forward to reaping the full benefits of a robust SME sector that guarantees sustained growth,” Mr. Muteti said.

According to the Economic Survey 2022, 80 percent of the slightly more than 900,000 jobs created in 2021 were in the informal sector dominated by small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This means that for informal enterprises to flourish, they need to be given effective business support across key areas of engagement.

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