Turkana County government has launched a Sh133 Million Youth and Women Empowerments Fund to finance business enterprises across the county.
The County boss Josphat Nanok who witnessed the disbursement of funds to more than 600 groups said there was low uptake of loans by residents due to a lack of capacity to explore the best business model for better business investment in the region.
Speaking at Ekaales centre in Lodwar town, the governor called on residents to take advantage of the existing credit financing to grow a robust business in the region.
“We have noted some reluctance by potential investors to apply for loans that have become a recipe to deny residents an opportunity to apply for loans. It’s regrettable that most wards in the county did not hit the Sh4 Million ceilings of loans under the fund due few applications,” Nanok observed.
He told the stakeholders to initiate public awareness education on how to explore diverse business opportunities in the county that will help to solve the challenges of high unemployment in the county.
“There are no investments that will grow without loans and it is time our people should learn to do business both small and big investments. I urged all residents to think outside the box to venture into unique business ideas. Together with elected leaders, we will attract big investors to nurture MSMEs as we strive to sensitize the public on how to do business,” he said.
He said each of the thirty wards will receive Sh4 million as a start-up capital and encouraged residents to apply for loans.
He said the fund was meant to target small business and “hustlers” intent venturing on small enterprises. This will give an opportunity to the small business to grow and in the future have the ability to access bigger loans.
The governor also asked residents to take advantage of development partners who have initiated partnerships with the county government to create a platform for business growth in the region.
He challenged Turkana residents to change the attitude and adopt the entrepreneurship spirit, something he admitted was still lacking.
“I advise successful groups who will be awarded the loans to prudently invest the funds with ease to repay the loans. I also commend the board for fairness in the loan processing and I encourage continued fairness that will form a basis for an increase in funding,” he said.
Turkana County Assembly Speaker Erastus Lokaale commended both the executive and legislative arms of the Government for coming up with strategies and policies to govern the management of the fund that will help spur the economic development in the county.
Turkana Woman Rep Ms Joyce Emanikor asks loan defaulters especially those groups of table banking to repay their loans.
“We have noted a culture of many groups at Uwezo fund who failed to repay their loans. We appeal to the groups to venture to lucrative businesses like fishing and retail business and innovations that will increase chances of profits,” Emanikor said.
Turkana Central legislator John Lodepe Nakara called on residents to diversify businesses instead of duplication that has been commonly seen in the region
“We have discovered that when one person opens a bar in Lodwar town all the streets now become a center of line up bars. People should explore other businesses’ ideas instead of copying similar business ideas,” Nakara said.
Youth and Women Empowerment Fund
Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok (Middle), MP Turkana North Christopher Nakuleu in checked (L) shirt flanked by Youth and Women groups display a dummy Cheque of Sh 133 million during the launch of Youth and Women Empowerments’ Fund in Lodwar. The funds will finance loans in 30 wards.