Equity Bank has announced plans to lend Kes 75 billion to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) at concessionary terms, at 13% interest for a period of five years. The funds include grants and technical assistance to train small businesses in a project that has already seen the lender reach out to 2.2 million SMEs.
This comes after Equity Bank secured a mix of guarantees and cheap long-term loans amounting to Kes 35 billion from several development finance institutions, including FMO, AfDB (African Development Bank), Exim Bank of Egypt and Development Finance Institution (DFI)
According to Chief Executive Officer James Mwangi, the bank’s partnership with MasterCard saw the foundation inject $100 million. In comparison, Propaco pumped $100 million, International Finance Corporation (IFC) injected $50 million, and German development bank-KFW pumped $100 million.
Meanwhile, the European Union and the EIB (European Investment Bank) are providing Kes 15.8 billion of new support for Equity Bank to enhance financing to Kenyan companies most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
The financing package will support finance access at appropriate conditions for Kenyan SMEs, including in the agriculture sector, through €100 million loans from the European Investment Bank to Equity Bank and €20 million of European Union (EU) grant support.