There was a light moment at the launch of the Hustler Fund at Green Park in Nairobi on Wednesday, November 30, as high-profile dignitaries attending the event stepped forward to promote local traders.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua put a smile on the face of one of the traders after buying a shirt for Ksh50,000.
Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) CEO Paul Russo also surprised a local mama mboga with Ksh70,000 after buying tomatoes and onions from her.
Trade, Investments and Industry Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria was also not left behind after buying a painting from a local artiste at Ksh60,000.
Others who participated in the exercise were Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa, who bought a beef smoky at Ksh200, and Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja who also bought himself a shirt at Ksh5,000.
The traders were among those who showcased their goods at the launch of the Ksh50 billion kitty by President William Ruto.
The Ksh50 billion annual kitty will be channelled towards supporting micro, small and medium enterprises.
Speaking at the launch of the Fund at Green Park in Nairobi on Wednesday, November 30, 2022, CEOs of the three main telecommunication companies in the country said Kenyans will be required to dial USSD code *254# to access the loan after its official launch by President William Ruto.
The service will also be accessible through mobile application platforms of any of the telcos including Safaricom, Airtel and Telekom.
To register, users will be prompted to enter their ID number before receiving a confirmation message.
Kenyans will, for now, be able to access a personal loan of between Ksh500 to Ksh50,000 at an annual interest of 8.0 per cent.
President Ruto said in February 2023, the government will launch the second product dubbed micro-loan which will allow individuals to borrow from Ksh50,000 to Ksh500,000.
Those in groups will be eligible for a loan limit of Ksh10 million.
In April, the government will launch another product targeted at Saccos regulated by the Sacco Regulatory Authority (SASRA). The product will allow Saccos to borrow from Ksh10 million up to Ksh100 million.
"Every 60 days we will launch a product to empower Kenyans to do business," Ruto said further pledging the Kenya Kwanza administration's commitment to safeguarding traders against shylocks charging unreasonably high-interest rates.
Ruto had in his campaigns promised a new economic order that would address unemployment and lack of opportunities for youth, pledging to pump billions of shillings in support of sectors such as the boda bodas and small retailers.