The government has officially launched the Uwezo Fund. But what is this Uwezo Fund and what does it mean to the youth and women of Kenya? Here are all the datails of the Uwezo Fund:
What is Uwezo Fund?
You can download the Uwezo Fund Application Form HERE
Uwezo Fund stems from the outcome of the last general election during which His Excellency the President made a pledge to allocate the Kshs. 6 Billion meant for Presidential run-off to youth and women groups.
Why the Uwezo Fund?
The objectives of the Uwezo Fund are:
- To expand access to credit for the promotion of youth and women businesses and enterprises at the constituency level and thereby enhance economic growth towards the realization of the goals of Vision 2030;
- To generate gainful self-employment for the youth and women;
- To model an alternative framework in funding community driven development.
Who qualifies as a beneficiary of the Uwezo Fund?
Any Registered Youth and Women groups qualifies to be a beneficiary of the Uwezo Fund
What is the eligibility criterion for the Uwezo Fund?
- For women and youth groups to qualify for the Uwezo Fund, they must:
- Be registered with the Department of Social Services or the Registrar of Societies with a membership of 9 – 15 members.
- The youth group membership must be between 18 and 35 years of age.
- Preference will be granted to groups that have been in existence for at least six (6) months.
- Be based and operating within the Constituency it seeks to make an application for consideration.
- Operate a table banking (Chama) structure where members make monthly contributions according to the groups’ internal guidelines (evidence of monthly contributions will be a requirement).
- Hold a bank account in the name of the group
- Recommended by the Chief of the location.
How will the Fund operate?
1) At the National level, a National Uwezo Fund Oversight Board shall provide overall management, design and oversight of the Fund. The Board is supported by a Secretariat.
2) Uwezo Fund will be administered through the Constituency Development Fund framework in all 290 constituencies. The Constituencies Development Fund Committees will in turn constitute the Constituency Uwezo Fund Management Committees to oversee implementation of the Fund.
a) Representatives of Women, Youth and person with disability will be part of the Constituency Uwezo Fund Management committees.
b) The Fund will operate as a revolving Fund ensuring continuity and sustainability.
c) Borrowing groups will be expected to apply Table Banking principles.
d) The Fund will be organically linked to 30% public procurement spend preference closing the loop between access to opportunities for enterprise development and supply side capabilities.
How can one apply for the Uwezo Fund?
- The National Uwezo Fund Oversight Board in collaboration with the Ministry of Devolution and Planning is preparing to roll out Uwezo Fund Capacity Building Programme to prepare potential beneficiaries of Uwezo Fund.
- Interested Youth and Women groups must be trained for an initial period of three months before they can apply for Uwezo Fund. However, Uwezo Fund Capacity Building Program will be available for one year.
- Uwezo Fund Capacity Building Program will focus on four key areas namely;
- General Information on Uwezo Fund
- Business Development Services and Mentoring
- Table Banking
- Access to 30 percent Public Procurement tender opportunities for Youth, Women and persons with disability.
- Once the Fund is officially launched, interested registered groups of youth and women can visit the nearest Constituency Development Fund office to register for the Uwezo Fund capacity building program.
How much money is accessible from the Uwezo Fund?
The amount given shall be based on assessment by the Constituency Uwezo Fund Management Committee but will not be more than Kshs. 500,000 per group.
Is this the same as Youth Fund or the Women Fund?
No, this is a separate Fund but will complement the other two existing Funds.
Is it a loan of a grant?
Uwezo Fund is a loan. Youth and Women groups who will access the Fund will have a grace period of six (6) months and it will be repayable in eight installments.
Is there interest payable?
No, but a 3% administration fee will be charged.
How do Persons with Disabilities benefit from the Uwezo Fund?
Application for funds by Youth and Women living with Disabilities will be given special consideration.
You can follow more on the Uwezo fund website by clicking here- UWEZO FUND WEBSITE