Today, it became news that the government would no longer extends funds to youth and women programs. So far, the government has distributed more than Kshs 10 billion (~$10 million) to youths and Kshs 7 billion (~$70 million) to women.
The ending was not really new as a previous report released by the Central Bank of Kenya in 2015 noted that “the intention was not for the Government to lend, but to create an incentive for banks to engage with SMEs”.
Looking at financial results of two banks that had bond issues in 2015, and for which they released detailed information memorandums (IM’s), these show the flat or declining status of the youth and women fund programs. Both Chase, and Family, banks were intermediaries in the incentives by the Youth Enterprise Fund and the Women Enterprise Fund to advance funds to the respective target groups.
That does not mean that the Kenya government has stopped supporting entrepreneurs in the sectors, as there’s now the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) initiative under which the government aims to allow 30% procurement contracts to be given to the youth, women and persons with disability without competition from established firms.