Equity Bank Kenya and NASIRA sign guarantee program for COVID-19 support
FMO is delighted to announce the signing of a NASIRA loan portfolio guarantee facility with Equity Bank Kenya (EBK). This USD 50 million facility is the second NASIRA guarantee with the support of EU funding.
EBK is one of Kenya’s most innovative and MSME-oriented banks. To support Kenyan entrepreneurs during these challenging times and to support the bank’s overall (M)SME ambitions, FMO will provide a NASIRA loan portfolio guarantee covering loans provided to MSMEs affected by the COVID-19 crisis, including female and young entrepreneurs and companies in the Agri value chain.
The NASIRA guarantee will be complemented with a bespoke Capacity Development project aimed at supporting EBK’s offering towards smallholder farmers and companies in the agricultural value chain. The technical assistance will help in strengthening EBK’s value proposition regarding financial and non-financial products and services for these customer segments.
Linda Broekhuizen, CEO (a.i.) of FMO, “We are very happy to be able to support Equity Bank Kenya in weathering the COVID-19 storm. Funding for MSMEs is essential in lessening the impact of the pandemic on people’s livelihood and their communities. Together with the Capacity Development project we are confident small entrepreneurs will get much needed support.’’
In April 2020 NASIRA received a EUR 25 million top-up from the European Fund for Sustainable Development on the EU’s initial EUR 75 million. contribution to support small entrepreneurs affected by COVID-19 in Africa and the EU Neighborhood. The Dutch government fund MASSIF also added EUR 7.5 million to NASIRA.
“The NASIRA guarantee is part of the EU External Investment Plan. By investing €4.6 billion in EU funds, an additional €47 billion in total investment will be leveraged globally from the public and private sector. It will enable small business owners to access affordable loans through local banks, microfinance institutions and other non-banking financial institutions”, underlined the EU Ambassador to Kenya, Simon Mordue.
EBK, a partner of FMO since 2007, is part of the Equity Group, one of the largest financial service groups in East Africa. The bank was founded in 1984 in Nairobi and originally acted as a provider of mortgage financing for the low-income population. In 2004, it transformed into a commercial bank becoming the number 2 bank in Kenya by size. Since 2006, the Group is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange. The bank offers a broad range of financial products and services for retail and business clients and historically has a special focus on SME’s and Micro SME’s.
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