Tugende, a social enterprise that provides asset financing to informal sector entrepreneurs and MSMEs, has extended a package of support for its clients as they tackle the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The package includes a one-time unconditional cash transfer of UGX25,000 / KES 700 that is being disbursed out to all of its 23,000+ active clients in both Uganda and Kenya and also includes a 2-month suspension of all penalties till May 25th, along with full-time support from Tugende’s over 460 staff, who are actively working from home.
Michael Wilkerson, the CEO Tugende says the support aims at helping the Tugende community overcome the economic hardships they are facing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Tugende exists to help informal sector entrepreneurs grow, thrive and own theirfuture. With the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that our clients are struggling to takecare of their families. When they suffer, we suffer too. This support is to let our clients know that we are together with them and together we shall pull through,” he said.
Adding, “Tugende is itself facing dire challenges. However, we are committed to being with our clients during the best and worst of times and we want to help our clients, their communities and our employees in Uganda and Kenya during this difficult period.”
“With a nationwide lockdown and business coming to a near standstill, most of our clients are not earning any income or have had it dramatically reduced, which means it is becoming harder everyday for them to support themselves and their families.”
Wilkerson further stated that Tugende would continue to look for more ways to help their clients during this period.
“Across Uganda and many other emerging markets, motorcycles help drive the economy, mitigating traffic jams and bad roads, while offering hundreds of thousands of jobs for those with little formal education. As a result, Tugende has empowered customers unable to access formal credit and has financed over 30,000 customers in Uganda and Kenya.” Wilkerson added
“It is also a challenging time for us at Tugende. When our clients suffer, we also suffer. But it is also a time when we have the opportunity to live up to our values and mission. At Tugende, our mission is to help people help themselves, and this is exactly what we are doing during this time of crisis and the biggest way we are helping is by ensuring clients understand that we stand with them, we feel their pain and we are here to make it to the recovery together with them. We have also taken more measures like suspending penalties for 2 months till May 25th.”
“We are here for them and we will continue to look for ways to help out in any small way that we can. Our financial capacity is limited, as with our clients struggling to provide for their households, most are unable to pay Tugende, limiting our cash. However we will keep making every effort to find resources and partners to support the Tugende Team and offer further assistance to our clients.”
Tugende was formally established in 2012 in Uganda and is a technology-enabled asset financier of income-generating assets for proven entrepreneurs, using a lease-to-own product to offer an affordable path to ownership of these assets.