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Economy

Most Uwezo Fund group borrowers have defaulted, PS says

Labour Principal Secretary Khadija Kassachoon (right), Social Protection Principal Secretary Susan Mochache, Gender Affairs Principal Secretary Zeinab Hussein and Dr Stanley Michuki, Director, Uwezo Fund, during a meeting with women leaders at Teachers Advisory Centre in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County,  February 08, 2017. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Labour Principal Secretary Khadija Kassachoon (right), Social Protection Principal Secretary Susan Mochache, Gender Affairs Principal Secretary Zeinab Hussein and Dr Stanley Michuki, Director, Uwezo Fund, during a meeting with women leaders at Teachers Advisory Centre in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, February 08, 2017. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Majority of the groups that received soft loans from the government's Sh5 billion Uwezo Fund to promote their enterprises have defaulted on paying back the amounts within stipulated time, the government has said.

Social Protection Principal Secretary Ms Susan Mochache said 60 per cent of the groups are yet to remit back the funds to enable other deserving groups get access to the revolving fund.

“Majority of the groups are yet to pay back, denying deserving ones access to the fund because this is a revolving fund,” said Ms Mochache at a women's sensitisation forum in Kitale.

She encouraged officials of the groups in question to ensure they remit the funds, saying this will increase their chances of benefiting from other related funds at both national and county government levels.

“We are, however, amused by the fact that most women groups are among the 40 per cent that have complied with the terms of paying back. This is the culture that we want to cultivate,” said the Principal Secretary.

Labour Principal Secretary Khadijah Kassachoon said boosting of information access by the government has played a key role in having more women embrace its economic development incentives.

“Information access has been key in attracting more women especially from marginalised regions to take up initiatives by the government to empower them economically,” said Mrs Kassachoon.
Fear enrolling

However, the principal secretaries said studies have indicated that a large number of women from rural areas still fear enrolling for various credit facilities for lack of the right information.

“There is this perception among some women who feel that enrolling for a loan is only preserved for men. We still have a challenge of changing this perception among them,” said Mrs Kassachoon.

They disclosed that groups from Trans-Nzoia County have so far benefitted from more than Sh500 million of various funds by the government geared towards economic empowerment.

The Uwezo Fund is a flagship programme of Kenya's Vision 2030 blueprint, which includes initiatives to enable women, youth and disabled persons access funds to promote businesses and enterprise at the constituency level, thereby enhancing economic growth.

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