The COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program is an initiative by Mastercard Foundation in partnership with KEPSA whose aim is to support women/youth-led or owned micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) whose operations have been adversely affected by Covid-19.
Through this project, KEPSA seeks to support MSMEs who find it difficult to access financing from formal lending institutions such as banks and micro-financers.
This initiative was launched in August 2020 and saw a total of 710 applications for the Interest-free loans being received by January 31st, which was the deadline for submitting the applications.
So far, 106 MSMEs have already benefited from a total of over Kshs 42 Million in form of interest-free short-term loans ranging between Kshs 100,000 to Kshs 1.5 million without any collateral. The loans issued were in the range of KES 100,000 – 1.5 million and are repayable within 6 months. The loans were issued from December 2020 to May 2021.
Here are some testimonials from some of the beneficiaries of the loans:
Technical Assistance for the loan beneficiaries
Over 100 beneficiaries from the loans program were followed up with technical assistance support by Zydii digital platform, where they were trained in various areas to support the growth of their businesses, navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and manage their cashflows.
Training and Mentorship sessions
Still under the Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience Program, KEPSA with support from Mastercard Foundation is conducting biweekly training and mentorship sessions with 8000 participants reached so far. Initially, the sessions were running every Friday in phase 1 which ran from January to May 2021. However, in phase 2 which commenced in July 2021, the sessions are happening bi-weekly on Fridays.
This program also enables MSMEs to share knowledge between them and provides coaching to businesses on how to navigate the prevailing market disruptions, through training and mentorship sessions by market and industry leaders from different sectors. These sessions are meant to equip MSMEs with recovery and resilience skills to propel their businesses post Covid-19 period. The training and mentorship sessions have continued attracting large numbers with each session’s average attendance being over 300 participants.
Below are some testimonials from some participants of the previous sessions:
KEPSA Access to Finance Coaching Program
There is an ongoing coaching to access finance program under the Mastercard Foundation. The program aims at supporting MSMEs by equipping them with skills and tools to make their businesses investor-ready. The program is supporting 50 MSMEs and they are undergoing coaching sessions up to November 2021. Some of the key deliverable areas that the participating SMEs are expected to have improved once done are:
- Developing Business Plans
- Having Financial Performance Summary
- Developing Financial Projections
- Pitch Decks and presentation.
In addition, KEPSA in partnership with Zydii in July 2021 launched a three-month free pilot digital training where over 1000 KEPSA members and SMEs have enrolled for the training and are in different levels.
Through the Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience project, KEPSA established a portal that has supported not only in the creation of an SME database but also the avenue for sharing opportunities and events available to MSMEs. To date, the database has been updated with contacts of over 10,000 MSMEs.
The portal can be accessed via www.smekepsa.or.ke
Laws and Policies
The project’s focus has been on sensitizing MSMEs on key laws/policies that are in place affecting them taking into consideration the opportunities available. In this regard, we have supported two webinars; Small Claim Court in and Movable Properties Rights Security (MPRS) both in September 2021. Further, we developed a knowledge product through a study on the Socio-Economic Impact of COVID 19 on women and Youth businesses which support data-driven policies and laws. The following are the key findings from the study:
- Women and youth businesses are adversely affected by COVID-19 Pandemic;
- Women and youth businesses mostly informal;
- Businesses reactions to pandemic were detrimental but necessary for survival;
- Reliance on informal financing sources;
- Redirection of business recovery support (especially funds) to the household;
- Business generally had a lot of optimism concerning the future outlook for the businesses;
- Gender barriers in accessing financial support were even more amplified;
- High demand for capital injection;
For any inquiry, support or assistance regarding this program, reach the KEPSA MSME team on 0773132403 / 0780306036 / 0794968559 / firstname.lastname@example.org