Stanbic Bank Uganda has partnered with the United Nations and other funding agencies to create an enterprise fund that will provide low-cost financing informal sector businesses to enable them recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Economic Enterprise Restart Fund (EERF) is intended to provide cheaper funding to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs) as well as village savings and credit associations (VSLAs) to enhance their productivity and provide both digital and technical support in capacity building and institutional development.
The EERF will drive financial inclusion through the digital banking process and build economic activity sustainability that will help create employment opportunities, increase consumption, and avert poverty in the rural and peri-urban areas.
Speaking during the launch at Sheraton Kampala Hotel, Stanbic Bank chief executive, Anne Juuko said the fund has identified key individual, businesses and groups that were made financially vulnerable by the pandemic, who will receive low-cost finances from the bank to allow them to boost their business capital, increase daily income or cash flows and empower them to become financially stable.
Rosa Malango is the UN Resident Coordinator said their commitment to the Economic Enterprise Restart Fund is an opportunity for a new type of partnership between the UN and Stanbic to adapt and respond to the impact of COVID-19.
The Fund is intended to grow businesses, create employment, widen the tax base through improved economic activity, and increase export base and import substitution thus a stepping stone towards reviving
By transforming the lives and livelihoods of women and vulnerable groups in the rural areas, the EERF will be able to increase individual household income, ensure that every home has access to quality and affordable education and healthcare, clean energy, cooking, and water.
These are essential aspects of socio-economic development, personal wealth creation, and financial protection.