Keeping Your Business in Mind

Hustler Fund Fronted As An Economic Equalizer As It Marks First Anniversary

The Kenya Kwanza Government campaigned on the platform of Bottom-up Economics, with a view to not only improve the livelihood of millions of Kenyans but also to grow the Kenyan Economy. Bottom-up Economics is about investing the limited capital available where it will create the most jobs at the bottom of the pyramid and in the process spur Economic Growth. In November last year the Hustler Fund was launched and true to its promise, millions of Kenyans with entrepreneurial interests have benefited from its loans and savings offering marking a year of success as Corporate Watch Magazine’s Catherine Muema narrates.

Kenya’s President William Samoei Ruto has praised small and medium sized entrepreneurs who have utilized the Hustler Fund offering as visionary business people who hold goodwill to grow Kenya’s economy. President Ruto, led the nation in celebrating the Hustler Fund one-year anniversary at a ceremony held in Nairobi. Launched on 30th November 2022, the Hustler Fund is a digital loans and savings platform specially crafted by the Kenya Kwanza Government to uplift individual small scale traders as well as groups in their businesses.

The goal of this plan is to stimulate the nation’s economy by enabling citizens to become economically self-reliant through various businesses and projects. The one year anniversary celebration served to honor the Fund’s successes and pave the way forward for the Kenyan entrepreneur. According to President William Ruto, the Hustler Fund targets Kenyans who could not access credit after having been blacklisted by various credit rating agencies. It offers loans from a minimum of Ksh.500 to as high as Ksh.50,000 at an eight per cent pro-rated basis or a daily rate of 0.002 per cent.

Economic Empowerment and Savings Culture…
Speaking at the event, the head of state revealed that out of the Sh50 billion offered, Sh39.5 billion had been disbursed in a staggering total of 52 million transactions. Remarkably, Sh2 billion has been saved with Sh28.7 billion being repaid, emphasizing the program’s success in fostering a culture of repayment and savings among its beneficiaries.

“We have disbursed Ksh.39.7 billion, to 21.8 million people. Out of this inaugural disbursement, savings of Ksh.1.98 billion have been mobilized, and total repayments now stand at Ksh 28.75 billion,” Ruto said.

‘The number of repeat borrowers has swelled to 7.5 million customers, a testament to the trust and reliability the fund has managed to establish. This fund has significantly contributed to the growth of MSMEs in Kenya, and the savings in the kitty come from 5% of the loan amount disbursed to the borrower. The Hustler Fund’s first anniversary is a celebration of economic resilience, entrepreneurship, and the realization of dreams for many Kenyans,’ added President Ruto.

Under the fund, 5 per cent of every loan is directed towards savings; 70 per cent to long-term and 30 per cent to short-term savings pushing the government’s agenda on encouraging a savings culture especially among young Kenyans.

President William Samoei Ruto (c) accompanied by Cabinet Secretary Cooperatives and MSMEs Development Simon Chelugui and Deputy President H.E Rigathi Gachagua during the Hustler Fund first anniversary celebrations in Nairobi.

Goodies for repeat borrowers…
During the event, President Ruto shared some good news with the hundreds of hustlers who travelled from all corners of the country to celebrate the anniversary.

The president said, Kenyans who have saved with the Hustler Fund, will get a boost of 50 per cent to their long-term savings within twenty four hours adding that the government will at the same time reward 1.2 million borrowers with a matching fund in their long-term savings account in the ratio of 1 shilling for every two shillings saved.

“Some 1.2 million Kenyans by tomorrow morning will have a matching fund in their accounts. You must have demonstrated that you are truly committed to the Hustler Fund by borrowing five times. If you have borrowed five times and saved Ksh.6,000, we will give you Ksh.3,000,” President Ruto said.

Open Window To Access Savings….
The Head of State further announced that the government will make short-term savings accessible to customers to provide greater flexibility and immediate benefits from their savings efforts. President Ruto added that those who have been actively saving and borrowing from the Hustler Fund can now redeem their savings.

The savers can however only withdraw 30percent of their savings. The President went on to reveal that the remaining 70 per cent of the savings will be kept in a long-term savings account to encourage the savings culture of citizens.

“Those who have been saving, today have been allowed to withdraw 30% of their savings to conduct their businesses. 70% will be kept in your long-term savings. We want to improve the saving culture of Kenyans,” Ruto stated.

Ruto highlighted the flexibility offered by the fund noting that individuals have the option to refrain from withdrawing their savings adding that the funds in their savings account will be used to determine and to boost their borrowing capacity after every 30 days.

“And if you do not withdraw, after one month, we will use it to increase your borrowing limit. It’s your choice.’ Ruto asserted.

Millions of Kenyans Rescued from CRB…

According to the president, 2.2 million Kenyans who had previously been negatively listed on Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) are now active borrowers on Hustler Fund adding that the loan program has been a lifeline for over 7 million Kenyans previously flagged by the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) and who were unable to get short and long term loans from financial institutions.

“The 7 million Kenyans who were condemned in the CRB ecosystem, today we have repaired their credit score and we have made sure that they are out of CRB. 2.2 million Kenyans whose credit was repaired from CRB today are active borrowers on Hustler Fund,” he said.

The celebrations, marked by hundreds of entrepreneurs who praised the product is a clear testimony of a fund that is slowly but steadily empowering unbanked Kenyans to build and grow their small and medium sized enterprises.

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