Women-led businesses are set to receive Sh1.5 billion emergency funding through a partnership between MasterCard Foundation and WomenWork Network.
The programme dubbed Rebuild will offer interest-free loans repayable in two months to 25,000 members of the WomenWork Network.
The loans will only be disbursed to micro and small female led businesses and upon repayment, the entrepreneur can reapply for another funding.
“We know even in ordinary times, women-owned businesses face difficulties accessing lines of credit. Such challenges have been exacerbated during these extraordinary days and have served as the motivation for the Mastercard Foundation to support a programme with strong intentionality,” said Daniel Hailu, regional head eastern and southern Africa Mastercard Foundation.
“We are aiming to safeguard work opportunities enabled by the participating businesses and to mitigate the pandemic’s tendency to exacerbate gender inequalities.”
According to Isis Nyong’o co-founder of WomenWork Network, female led firms struggle to get financing from mainstream institutions due to collateral requirements.
“We are aware that many businesses are facing significant challenges and have either closed or at the point of almost closing. We hope that our emergency funding will enable women to survive the devastating effects of Covid-19 on their businesses, and hopefully, protect against imminent job losses and stabilize their businesses through this period,” said Asha Mweru co-founder WomenWork Network.
The programme will run between now and next year with business that have been operational for a minimum six months eligible.
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