The Uwezo Fund is a youth and women’s fund which has its genesis in the pledge His Excellency the President made to allocate the Kshs. 6 billion that was meant for the presidential run-off to youth and women groups. Its objectives are:
- To expand access to finance through grants and credit to promote youth and women businesses and enterprises at the constituency level, thereby enhancing economic growth towards the realization of the goals of Vision 2030;
- To generate gainful self-employment for Kenyan youth and women;
- To model an alternative framework in funding community driven development.
The Uwezo Fund which provides youth and women access to grants and interest-free loans, as well as mentorship opportunities to enable them take advantage of the 30% government procurement preference for youth, women and persons with disabilities through its Capacity Building Programme.
The principles of Uwezo Fund are:
- Representation: to ensure the inclusion of all Kenyans including women, youth, persons with disabilities, elected parliamentary representatives and respective government officials.
- Accountability: to ensure government is held responsible to the citizenry for its decisions and actions.
- Accessibility: guaranteeing accessibility at the lowest level of engagement and for the largest category of recipients using a simple, structured and least cost approach.
- Economy: use of the best but least cost mechanism to achieve the desired objective.
- Sign up for Capacity Building Programme once launched
- Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria
- Fill an application form (this form will be available at the Constituency Uwezo Fund Management Committee office and on the Uwezo Fund website)
- Submit the application form together with relevant documents to the Uwezo Fund Management Committee within your constituency
- Await notification of the Uwezo Fund Management committee
The Uwezo Fund is an outcome of Kenya’s transformation, following the March 4th 2013 general election. As the Jubilee Coalition flag bearer, I outlined our intention to utilize the planned Kshs. 6 billion presidential election re-run budget to bolster support for the women and youth upon securing a first round win. Responding to this call, the Kenyan people demonstrated an outstanding resolve, and ushered in the Jubilee Government under the new Constitution of Kenya.
By its very name, Uwezo, the Fund is a tool of empowerment. Its underlying philosophy is an affirmation of hope and faith in our people. A call to the women and youth of our country to believe in their own capabilities and a demonstration that my Government is ready, willing and able to offer pragmatic support towards this end.
The women and youth of this country will be the cornerstone of our country’s economic development and I am personally inspired by the objective that the Uwezo Fund seeks to achieve. As the National Champion of the Uwezo Fund, I will ensure commitment to the fund at the highest level of government. Further, I will establish an annual award scheme for successful businesses of Uwezo Fund recipients and therefore encourage all our women and youth to stand up and be counted.
AHADI YETU- KAZI KWAKO
H.E. UHURU KENYATTA, CGH, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE FORCES OF KENYA
Message from H.E. the Deputy President.
Unemployment among youth and women remains the single largest challenge that we face as a country. It is a challenge that must be addressed if the country is to meet the goals of Vision 2030. The fact that unemployment breeds discontent and subsequently has the potential to become a security risk means efforts to promote sustainable livelihoods through employment creation, skills enhancement and entrepreneurship development, particularly among the youth and women must be the Jubilee government’s priority.
The Jubilee administration recognises that the informal sector accounts for over 75 percent of total employment in Kenya and therefore has enormous potential to substantially address unemployment. By making credit accessible to them through Uwezo Fund the government seeks to place women and youth at the centre of job creation in Kenya at the constituency level. We believe that the Uwezo Fund will play a significant role in promoting women and youth led enterprises thereby generating gainful self employment in the short to medium term.
H.E. WILLIAM SAMOEI RUTO, EGH
Message from the Cabinet Secretary
The Ministry of Devolution and Planning as the ministry responsible for youth and gender, is proud to be associated with the Uwezo Fund as a tool for empowering this target segment of the population. The Uwezo Fund adopts the hybrid concept of table banking and revolving funds, designed to ensure that women and youth groups are able to employ availed resources for credit, while similarly promoting and sustaining a savings culture. By providing the seed credit and grant to table banking groups, the Uwezo Fund ensures that regular group contributions receive a boost, especially when one considers the amount of time it takes for groups to accumulate the requisite capital for onward lending to members. These efforts, coupled with a robust capacity building and mentorship framework will propel the expected impacts into perpetuity and spur a culture of saving.
Thereafter, we expect to see women and youth groups taking advantage of the public procurement preferences and reservations, and sustain proactive engagement in securing the 30% government contracts for goods and services reserved for these and other eligible enterprises. I therefore encourage women and youth groups to actively take up this opportunity, and exploit it to its full capacity.
ANNE WAIGURU, OGW
CABINET SECRETARY FOR DEVOLUTION AND PLANNING