As part of Kenya’s Vision 2030, the Uwezo Fund has been providing financial support to women, youth, and Persons with Disabilities to promote their businesses and enterprises at the constituency level. This flagship program has been making a positive impact on registered groups in constituencies within Kericho County, with the majority of groups engaging in agribusiness projects.
Since 2015, 135 groups have benefitted from the Uwezo Fund, which has transformed their lives significantly. Uwezo fund has promoted economic growth and Sustainable Development Goals of eliminating extreme poverty, hunger, promoting gender equality, and empowering women.
One group that has been successful is the Injerian Widows and Widowers group in Injerian village, Kapsaos Division. The group, which began in 2017 as a table banking group, applied for and received a Sh100,000 loan from the Uwezo Fund. By utilizing the initiative, the group acquired three tents, seats, and kitchen utensils for hire to clients with events within the village. The equipment has earned the group at least Sh50,000 per month, and they now plan to buy a car to increase their income by running their business errands with ease as well as using it for hire to clients for transportation of agricultural products.
Another successful group is the mixed-gender group at Binyiny village in Tendwet location, Kipkelion East Sub-County. They have completed the payment of their first Uwezo Fund loan and are looking forward to applying for more funds to boost their farming projects. They have over 100 banana plantations as a group, and each member has at least 20 plantations. It has also benefited from training on farming practices from the Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Project (KCSAP).
Despite the success of these groups, they still face challenges. Most members do not have literacy on managing personal finances, record keeping, taxation, and group dynamics. They are urging the government to facilitate more training on business and financial management, including how to start and run a table banking group.
The Uwezo Fund has disbursed more than Sh7.2 billion since it was formed, directly supporting 1,124,221 beneficiaries, of which 69% are female and 31% are male. The fund provides affordable and accessible credit, capacity building on entrepreneurship skills, basics on bookkeeping, market linkages, and networking.
The Uwezo Fund manager in Kericho East Sub-County is urging more registered women and youth groups to apply for the funds. To qualify, a group must be registered with the relevant government body, have a valid group registration certificate, and meet specific requirements based on the group’s category.