It’s exactly three weeks since President William Ruto launched one of his main campaign pillars, the Hustler Fund – a government-funded credit service offering loans of between Sh500 and Sh50,000 at an annual interest rate of 8 percent.
16.59 million Kenyans have since registered for the fund, with over Sh9.6 billion disbursed so far. Some 2.69 million Kenyans have already borrowed more than once while over Sh2.7 billion has been repaid, translating to 23 percent of the amount disbursed.
This is according to data from Cooperatives and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui.
CS Chelugui also revealed that the largest loan issued to a borrower is Sh5,000. He said borrowers can gradually increase their Hustler loan limit to Sh50,000 by repaying on time.
“The idea is to start small and grow big…so long as you repay without delay you’ll be able to grow and get the maximum amount which is Ksh50, 000,” CS Chelugui said.
Meanwhile, Hustler Fund borrowers have saved Sh480 million from over 17 million transactions recorded. The government deducts 5 percent of each loan which goes towards the savings of the borrower.
70 percent of the deductions go towards long-term savings in a pension account while 30 percent are short-term savings.
The funds are held at KCB and Family Bank, but the CS said the government is onboarding the National Social Security Fund to be the long-term custodian of the savings.
Borrowers can access their short-term savings within a year.
“The savings will earn interest at market rates offered by the two banks on fixed deposit accounts,” Chelugui said.
Data from the ministry also indicates that the majority of Husler Fund borrowers (33 per cent) are aged between 18 to 29 years.
30 percent are aged between 30 to 39 years, 19 percent are between 40 to 49 years, 10 percent are aged between 50 to 59 years, 5 percent between 60 to 69 years while 2 percent are above 69 years.
Nairobi county boasts the highest number of subscribers at 1.4 million borrowers. Nairobians have borrowed Sh1.14 billion thus far.
They are followed by ‘Hustlers’ in Kiambu County who have benefited from some Sh651 million. Nakuru ‘Hustlers’ took Sh454 million in loans and those in Machakos Sh354 million.
President Ruto will launch the second phase of the Hustler Fund in February of next year.
The government will disburse loans of between Sh100,000 and Sh2.5 million to businesses. The funds will be disbursed through chamas, banks, Saccos and microfinance institutions.