The Hustler Fund has disbursed over Ksh 41 billion to over 22 million Kenyans since its inception according to the latest data from the government.
This is an increase from Ksh 39 million last week as more Kenyans continued to borrow from the revolving fund that has been met with support and condemnation in equal measures.
This came as the State department Micro, Medium, and Small Enterprises (MSMES) announced plans for an MSME fund targeting small and medium traders.
According to the PS in charge of MSMES Susan Auma, the number of Kenyans borrowing from the Hustlers funds was on the rise.
She downplayed allegations of mass default adding that the fund had empowered millions mainly the low wage earners in supporting their small businesses.
“As of the start of this week, the amount disbursed to Kenyans from the Hustlers funds has risen to Ksh 41B with over 22 million people benefiting,” she said.
Speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing MSME workshop in Naivasha, the PS at the same time expressed her concern over attacks of small scale traders by county government officers.
She singled out Nairobi as the most affected for criminalizing hawking, adding that the national government had engaged the top leadership on the issue.
“We have seen cases where hawking has been criminalized and we are working for a win-win situation for both the county and the hawkers,” she said.
Auma at the same time said that the government had embarked on the process of coming up with a MSMEs fund targeting the informal sector that had employed over 16m people.
She noted the fund would issue loans running up to Ksh 1 million with the first phase targeting groups as one way of supporting the Micro, Medium, and Small Enterprises.
“We plan to digitize the issuance of loans to the Micro, Medium, and Small Enterprises by working with county governments that have a similar entity,” she said.
On his part, Moses Banda an MSME advisor from State House noted that the sector was largely ignored despite employing over 16.5m Kenyans.
He said that by the end of the three day retreat, they expected to come up with a roadmap on how the MSME sector would get more assistance from the State.
“The Micro, Medium, and Small Enterprises is one of the top employers in the country but it has been largely ignored and forgotten and hence the need to give it more support,” he said.