By Elijah Odhiambo
Kenyans have borrowed over Ksh19 billion as of midday February 20, 2022, barely days after the government made a promise to increase the limit of amount of money borrowable through the Hustler Fund.
Speaking during the Harambee Saccos Annual Delegates Meeting, the Cabinet Secretary for Cooperatives and Micro and Small Enterprises Simon Chelugui said the Hustler Fund has so far rolled out a loan of over Ksh19.6 billion with over Ksh10.6 billion being repaid.
“We’ve been able to disburse today, as of midday, over 19.6 billion Hustler Fund under the personal loans programme. We’ve also been able to receive over 10.7 billion in terms of repayment,” the CS said.
The Cabinet Secretary further said the kitty has attracted over 18 million subscribers and another Ksh.970 million being saved under the scheme.
“We have over 18 million Kenyans who have subscribed to this programme, we have also received Ksh970 million as savings which has gone to their savings account,” he said.
Also read: The ABC of Hustler Fund
The financial inclusion fund which forms a bulk of President William Ruto’s new economic model’s first phase was first introduced on November 30, 2022 to help ease credit access to the common mwananchi. The amounts that can be borrowed under this scheme is from Ksh500 to Ksh50,000.
Meanwhile, while presiding over the 52nd Annual General Meeting of the Harambee Sacco’s, CS Chelugui noted that the Hustler Fund is seeking to partner with Sacco’s as outlined in its second phase to ensure distribution of government services.
“You’re not just to serve your members. We are going to partner with you. Hustler Fund, even the distribution of government services like Inua Jamii, and now, soon, delivery of subsidiary fertilizers, “the CS said.
Also read: Twelve things you should know about the Hustler Fund
Chelugui further said the partnership aims at riding on the Sacco’s infrastructure and the existing customers base to minimize on the bureaucracies and the processes involved.
How the funds will be lent out to groups
According to the CS, the Hustler Fund under the Sacco’s will be borrowed out to groups that are registered with the Sacco’s. He noted that particular amounts of money have already been set aside for Sacco’s and banks.
“Tire 1 cooperative Sacco’s will receive up- to Ksh509 million, tire one banks will get Ksh1 billion,” CS Chelugui said further citing that the aim of this motive is to uphold and improve the culture of saving among Kenyans.
Breaking down on the loans lending criteria, the CS said the loans will be lent to small groups, women groups, youth groups and Chamas. He noted that no customers will be exempted from getting the loans including those with questionable repayment history.
“We are not excluding any group, any member, but we’ll mitigate that risk by lowering the amount they are eligible for, ” he said adding that the loans will be payable within one to twelve months.
The chairman of the Harambee Sacco’s, Macloud Malonza, speaking during the event said the Sacco is working on ensuring it reaches its 2025 target of getting more than 96 thousand happy members.
“Going forward, the board and the management are putting every strategy at its discretion to ensure we hit our 2025 target of 96 thousand happy members,” Malonza said.
Also read: What you need to know about Hustler Fund loan recovery.
Close to a month ago, Irene Karimi was appointed the Chairperson of the newly established Financial Inclusion Fund, popularly known as the Hustler Fund, for a period of three years. Lawrence Kibet Chelimo, Paul Ndore Musyimi, and Hardlyne Lusui were also appointed as members.