The Women Enterprise Fund
The Fund was established to provide alternative financial services to women who are excluded from the formal and informal financial sectors. The Fund provides accessible & affordable credit to support women start and/or expand business for wealth and employment creation. In addition to the Fund being a flagship project in the Vision 2030, it is also a demonstration of the Government’s commitment to the realization of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on gender equality and women empowerment.
The core mandates of the Fund
- Provision of credit to women for enterprise development,
- Capacity building of women beneficiaries and their institutions,
- Promotion of local and international marketing,
- Promotion of linkages of micro, small and medium enterprises owned by women with big enterprises,
- Attract and facilitate investments in infrastructure that support women enterprises, e.g. markets, business incubators, etc.
Only registered groups can access the funds through the Constituency-Women Enterprise Fund (C-WEF) system, which is found in all the districts in the country and managed by the District Gender and Social Development Officer.
Women desiring to borrow money as individuals must approach financial intermediaries who were selected “through a competitive and transparent open tendering process.” They are Taifa Sacco, BIMAS, Co-operative Bank, Family Bank, Kenya Industrial Estates (KIE), Wakenya Pamoja (formerly Gussi Rural Sacco), K-REP Development Agency, Jitegemea Credit Scheme, Mathira Sacco, Pamoja Women Development Programme and Small & Micro Enterprise Programme (SMEP).
Those who receive funds from financial intermediaries are charged an interest rate of eight per cent per year, while those who get the money through the C-WEF are charged zero interest. However, a one-time administrative fee of five per cent is charged.
Funds received from financial intermediaries must be paid back within 36 months (three years) while those received from C-WEF must be paid back within 12 months (one year). A three-month grace period is allowed from the moment successful applicants receive their cheque/funds. All repayments from C-WEF candidates are made at the KCB Moi Avenue branch in Nairobi, account no. 017229601660.
Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) was conceived by the Government of Kenya in 2006 and officially launched in 2007. As at October, 2009 a total of Kshs.894 Million had been loaned to women, broken down as Kshs.685 Million through Financial Institutions (FIs) and Kshs. 209 Million through C-WES.
For more details, contact:
Women Enterprise Fund
NSSF BUILDING, EASTERN WING, 11TH Floor
P.O. Box 30276-00100, NAIROBI