The Co-operative Bank of Kenya has partnered with the County Government of Laikipia in a project worth Sh300 million by launching the Laikipia Enterprise Fund.
In a statement shared by the bank, Co-op bank said that the partnership was aimed at helping 7, 000 young entrepreneurs recovers from the effects of the Coviod-19 pandemic by offering them affordable financing and training.
The financial institution further noted that the fund would empower co-operatives in Laikipia County.
According to the statement, the Fund, the Bank, and the County Government of Laikipia have entered into an Interest- Sharing and Guarantee Arrangement to kick off the project that is set to benefit 7000 youths of Laikipia County.
In the project, borrowers will only pay single-digit interest rates, which make it one of the most affordable lending programs in Kenya today.
Co-op Bank added that borrowers would also enjoy a reduced appraisal fee at 1.5 percent of the approved loan amount.
The bank also promised to match the amount that the County Government will place in the Enterprise Fund three-fold.
This will ensure that as many borrowers as possible benefit from the program.
Other services that will be provided by the bank include digital banking tools, workshops for business training, and also capacity-building consultancy services for co-operatives.
The repayment period for the loans was pegged at up to one year for SMEs and up to 18 months for co-operatives.
The Government of Laikipia will be tasked with the initial vetting of loan applicants as provided for in the Laikipia County Enterprise Fund Regulations 2020.
The Co-operative Bank Group is one of the biggest banks in the region with an asset base of over Sh470 billion, mainly owned by the over 15-million-member Kenya co-operative movement.
The bank also owns a 24.7 percent stake in CIC Insurance Group and a 25 percent stake in Co-op Bank Fleet Africa Leasing Limited.