According to EU authorities, the European Union (EU) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) are giving 15.8 billion shillings (about 145 million US dollars) to Kenya’s regional Equity Bank to improve finance to businesses most affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
According to Thomas Ostros, vice president of the EIB, the Kenya-Team Europe COVID-19 reaction access to finance and Kenya agricultural value chain facility initiative will support access to finance at acceptable terms for Kenyan small and medium enterprises.
“New EIB and EU support for Equity Bank, a leading Kenyan partner, will assist entrepreneurs, businesses, and agricultural smallholders access financing and better resist the economic difficulties and business uncertainties brought on by COVID-19,” Ostros said in a statement.
The funding package includes 121 million dollars in EIB loans and 24 million dollars in EU grant funding.
According to James Mwangi, CEO of the Equity Group, the support would reinforce the bank’s position to further increase the strength of medium and small enterprises, which are important actors in value chains and ecosystems in the economy.
“By protecting their survival and development, medium and small businesses can continue to defend jobs, produce more employment, and support people’s lives and livelihoods in society, helping to build resilience as the pandemic fades, vaccines become available in Kenya, and market growth returns,” Mwangi noted.