(Ecofin Agency) - Equity Bank Kenya will obtain a loan portfolio guarantee of $50 million from the Dutch Development Finance Fund (FMO) to support SMEs in Kenya. This risk-sharing facility will be provided under the Nasira program, launched by the Dutch agency with the support of the European Union.
Commenting on the deal, Linda Broekhuizen, Interim CEO of FMO, said financing micro, small and medium enterprises is critical to reducing the impact of the pandemic on the livelihoods of people and their communities.
Nasira, which finances companies in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Europe, has since 2020 expanded its focus to include companies in difficulty as a result of covid-19.
The guarantee granted will cover loans provided by the Kenyan bank to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) whose activities have been severely affected by the health crisis. Businesses run by women and those in the agricultural value chain will also be eligible for this financing.
The loan portfolio of Equity Group, the parent company of Equity Bank Kenya, grew by 30% to 453.9 billion shillings ($4.1 billion) at the end of September 2020.