September 13, 2013: Laikipia County Enterprise Fund team joined other financial actors in a consultative meeting organized by Hand in Hand East Africa (HiHEA) through the Women Economic Empowerment - through Climate Smart Agriculture project to assist women farmers groups to make informed financial decisions.
The meeting was attended by 41 women and youth farmers groups from Umande, Tigithi and Mukogondo East wards. The discussions centred on presenting alternative credit options for farmers to avoid monopoly of their fund sources.
Laikipia County Enterprise Fund Administrator Ms. Evelyn Mbugua, in her submissions underscored the critical place of financial literacy to farmers, women and youth. "It is only then," she said, "someone or a group can run a successful business."
"Enterprise Fund provides three types of loans to farmers all at the rate of six per cent (6%) per annum and payable in a maximum of two years - which is way below the main financial institutions," Ms. Mbugua explained."
"Further," Ms. Mbugua continued, we link the MSMEs with experts, and also facilitate them with a conducive environment for enterprise development. We also offer training such as business management, record keeping, marketing, and product and business plan development. Over that over 200 farmers groups have benefited from the fund so far."
During the meeting, Programme Officer Gender and Advocacy Eastern Africa women Economic Empowerment Madam Phyllis Wanjiru emphasized that unlocking groups potential heavily relies on the members knowledge about credit access and application processes.
"Today's event was mainly to address financial access. Most of these groups we are working with do not have access financial institutions that can fund their projects while some lack proper information that can inform their fund sourcing decisions," Wanjiru explained.
Other financial institutions present were Tower Sacco, Agricultural Finance Corporation.

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