IDB Kenya To Fund SMEs In Busia County

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Story/Reuben Olita

Industrial Development Bank (IDB) Kenya has offered to fund several Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Busia County.

IDB Strategy and Business Development Manager, Mr Morris Kathata said they are keen on availing credit facilities to private investors in the county’s identified investment opportunity especially along Big 4 related projects.

“Our presence in Busia followed the Governor H.E Sospeter Ojaamong’s request to the Bank to partner with the County with a view of promoting SME growth within Busia county.

Addressing the press after paying a courtesy call to the Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi, Mr Kathata said the bank will work with the County Government of Busia and the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce Busia Chapter in identifying SMEs to benefit from the funding along the county areas of interest.

He acknowledged the fact that Busia County has made many strides in empowering production of agricultural produce and that the county is now ripe to get to next stage of value addition as well as establishing industries that are keen on supporting farming like animal feeds production among others.

“We have been in the county since Monday and we have already identified some SMEs that qualify for funding,” he said, adding that the banks strategy is to appraise them and ensure that those who qualify can be issued with offer letters on 27th of July during an investors breakfast forum sponsored by the Bank.

Mr Kathata noted that investment in value addition will motivate farmers to enhance their production since the market of their produce will be guaranteed.

Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi said it’s a pity that Bunyala farmers still sell their rice to Uganda, noting that the move by the bank to fund the purchase of equipment and avail funds for purchase of rice from farmers will embrace the culture of value addition.

H.E Mulomi said the development of an industrial park is critical, adding that they will explore ways and means of availing land at Alupe for an Industrial Park which will change the county’s economy once and for all.

An investor keen on starting a pallet and animal feeds plant has submitted his application. IDB will also inject funds in the proposed fish processing plant at Busia Trans-shipment market.

The bank has also identified three hotels to be installed with ultra modern facilities and will also fund the construction of an ultra modern morgue.

KNCCI Busia Chapter chairman Sylvanus Abungu predicted that Busia will shortly become the next frontier for Kenya after being denied as the headquarters of the East African Community.

He said the proposed Industrial Park will see over 60 per cent of local SMEs benefit. He also revealed that SMEs benefitted from Sh15m funding from partnership with Mastercard Foundation.

Small businesses, especially in the informal sector have been a key contributor to Kenya’s economy accounting for close to 30 per cent of the country’s GDP.

Growth has however been stunted over the past three years due to poor credit access largely driven by the rate cap regime where banks categorised small business owners as risky borrowers.

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