The government through the Women Enterprise Fund (WEF)has launched a loan product for economically active widows dubbed Thamini Loans on July 21, to increase their access to finance to grow their businesses.
The Thamini fund seeks to provide women with specialized training and tailored support,.
As well as interest-free capital to start and expand their businesses.
Further, the fund aims at increasing access to capital through innovative financing mechanisms.
Increasing women entrepreneurs’ use of holistic business development services and technological advancements with a focus on widows.
Speaking during the launch of the Fund and WEF strategic plan Ministry of Public Service and Gender Cabinet Secretary Prof. Margret Kobia said widows need to be supported by promoting non-discriminative treatment to both men and women.
The CS further reiterated the government’s commitment to ensure the successful implementation of the Thamini fund and the strategic plan by WEF.
I call upon all partners present to collaborate with WEF to demand an accountability report on the progress of the widow’s product we are launching today.said Kobia.
On her part, Ministry of Public Service and Gender Principal Secretary Prof. Collette A. Suda reiterated the government’s commitment to empowering vulnerable groups economically.
She stated that women face difficulty accessing formal banking institutions and accessing affordable credit to start or expand their businesses.
This WEF product will help widows confront the social-economic challenges that continue to affect them.she said.
The Thamini fund is a group-based loan facility that gives widows the equal opportunity to access interest-free group loans with no administration costs.
How can one access Thamini Fund?
To access Thamini loans, one must be a registered self-help group of 10 members and must have been in existence for at least three months and comprising 100 percent women of whom 70 percent are widows.
Groups must be trained on specialized and holistic business management skills by WEF officers as a prerequisite for the loan application.
Additionally, one must have an account in a Bank/SACCO FOSA/Post Bank/Deposit Taking Microfinance (DTM).
Nevertheless, all leadership positions must be held by widows.
As well as One month grace period that applies to the Thamini loan cycles.
Moreover, each member of the group is required to pay a training fee of Ksh. 100 and a loan tracker booklet for Ksh. 200 for every first loan.