WomenWork in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, has launched Rebuild, a program that offers emergency loans and business expertise to women entrepreneurs in Kenya.
The Rebuild Program includes an emergency interest-free short-term working capital loan for businesses, expert-driven business training and support from an engaging peer community of other women entrepreneurs – all delivered online.
According to Asha Mweru, Co-founder WomenWork Network, “The Rebuild Program is an exciting and significant milestone in the history of our organization. It provides us the opportunity to offer the much-needed support to our community of women entrepreneurs who are facing significant challenges arising from the effects of COVID-19 and have either closed or are at the point of almost closing. We hope that our emergency funding will enable women to survive these devastating effects of COVID-19 on their businesses, and hopefully, protect against imminent job losses and stabilize their businesses through this period.”
The emergency loan facility is aimed at providing a soft landing against COVID-19 which has disproportionately affected women-owned businesses.
The Rebuild business support loans for women-owned businesses by WomenWork is part of the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program including three other organisations, with technical support from the Grassroots Business Fund and 4G Capital.
The commitment of Kenya Shillings 1.5 billion from the Mastercard Foundation to help to cushion the economy in Kenya will be channeled through four lead partner organisations in support of a series of interventions that will facilitate business continuity for over 25,000 Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises with less than ten employees and a turn-over below Kenya Shillings 500,000. The loans are primarily targeted at businesses owned and run by the youth, particularly young women such as those in the WomenWork network.
The short-term emergency loans are for job protection and working capital payable in two months with no interest, collateral or fees to enable the businesses to survive through the pandemic and beyond. The eligibility for the loans includes an outline of the proposed use of funds and the ability to repay. Individual businesses will access loans starting from a minimum of Kenya Shillings 31,200. Borrowers can apply for additional emergency loans after repayment of the first one.
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