Uwezo Fund: How to Apply for Group & Institution Government Loans

  • Kenya is a country of many contrasts, from its landscape to demographics, and more so its social and economic inequalities.

    According to reports, 42 percent of its population of 44 million lives below the poverty line.

    Poverty in Kenya is fuelled by a diversity of factors: unemployment, child labor, HIV/AIDS epidemic, and an education system in failure (among other delicacies).

    Nevertheless, to help deal with these issues, President Uhuru Kenyatta, for instance, established a helpful opportunity for the youth, women, and people living with disabilities, to access lending services from the government.

    Kenyan notes

    Keep reading this article to find out more about this fund and how it can benefit you.

    What is Uwezo Fund?

    The Uwezo Fund is a flagship programme for vision 2030 aimed at enabling women, youth and persons with disability access finances to promote businesses and enterprises at the constituency level.

    In doing so, the fund seeks to enhance economic growth towards the realization of the same and the Millennium Development Goals No.1 (eradicate extreme poverty and hunger) and 3 (promote gender equality and empower women).

    The Fund was launched by President Uhuru on 8th September 2013 and enacted through a Legal Notice No. 21 of the Public Finance Management Act, 2014, and published on 21st February 2014.

    During the 2017 General Elections campaigns, the President pledged to allocate the money that was meant for presidential run-off to the fund.

    Notably, the promise was kept and the money amounted to Kshs 6 billion in total.

    The 4 guiding principles of Uwezo Fund

    The success of Uwezo fund is attributed to the four guiding principles that ensure that the fund is channeled to the right groups, within the appointed time, and for the right purpose.

    1. Accessibility

    This is guaranteed at the lowest engagement level for the largest groups of recipients using a structured, simple and affordable approach.

    2. Economy

    This is enhanced by the use of least cost yet the best mechanism to attain the set goals.

    3. Accountability

    stipulates that the government is responsible for its actions and decisions to the citizenry.

    4. Representation

    To ensure that all eligible Kenyans including women, persons with disabilities and youth are not left out in the distribution of the Uwezo Funds.

    Hence, the respective government officials and elected members of Parliament must participate in the management and administration of the funds to ensure equity and transparency.

    How Uwezo Fund Works

    How Uwezo fund works

    The Uwezo Fund works in various ways to ensure that it serves the intended purpose.

    To begin with, there are representatives of persons with disabilities, women, and youth working at the constituency level as Uwezo Fund management committees.

    The Uwezo Fund Oversight Board offers overall management, oversight, and design of the fund at the national level with the support of a Secretariat.

    Since the fund is administered in all the 290 constituencies through the Development Fund Framework, the committees provide an oversight implementation of the fund at the constituency level.

    Furthermore, Uwezo Fund Kenya ensures sustainability and continuity by operating as revolving funds where the borrowers are expected to apply the same principles as table banking.

    The fund is also organically connected to 30 percent of public procurement expenditure preferences.

    This helps in reducing the gap between access to enterprise development opportunities and supply-side capabilities.

    Requirements for Uwezo Fund

    The categories of Kenyans eligible for Uwezo Fund must meet the following Uwezo fund requirements:

    1. The members of the youth groups must be within age 18 and age 35 years to qualify for youth fund Kenya.

    2. The women or youth group must be registered with the Registrar of Societies and the Department of Social Services.

    3. The members should be between 9 and 15 and must present the certificate of registration.

    4. The group must be running as a Chama (table banking) system where the members contribute some amount every month as agreed by the members.

    5. To qualify for the Uwezo Fund, the group must present the records of the monthly contribution.

    6. The group should have a bank account bearing the group’s name and the bank statements must be attached to the youth fund application form.

    7. The group should have been operational for at least six months and this will be proven by the duration of the group meetings.

    8. Alongside the photocopies of PINs, IDs of the members and membership list, the group must also submit a recommendation letter from the area chief.

    How to apply

    Step 1: Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria above

    Step 2: Fill in an application form (available from the Constituency Uwezo Fund Management Committee office,CDF Offices or download form from

    Step 3: Submit the application form together with relevantdocuments to the Constituency Uwezo Fund Management Committee office

    Step 4: Await notification from the committee

    Eligible Amount

    (a) For administration of the Fund:-

    1.  The access by eligible groups of the Fund, shall be on a firstcome first served basis, subject to assessment andapproval of the loan, provided that the Committee shallensure equitable distribution of funds in the wards
       
    2.  Eligible qualifying amounts for a group shall be a minimumof fifty thousand 50,000) and a maximum of five hundredthousand (500,000) shillings at any one time.

    (b) In determining the total amount a group is eligible toreceive, the following criteria shall be applied:-

    1. The length of time the group has been in existence
    2. The total amount contributed by the group
    3.  The current status of contribution and
    4.  The proposed business plan for the loan applied

    NB: The eligible amount shall be three times the group savings BUT it shall not be:-

    1. Below Kshs. 50,000 (Minimum),
    2. More than the amount applied for in the application form and
    3. More than Kshs. 500,000 (Maximum)

    Uwezo Fund application form details

    Application form

    For individuals to receive a loan, they must provide the details below as indicated in the Uwezo Fund application form:

    1. The full name as given in the national identification card

    2. National identification number

    3. Home County, division, sub-location, and village

    4. Gender Parents’ or guardians’ full name

    5. Personal email address and mobile phone number

    6. Education level

    7. Current life undertaking (For instance employed, farmer, student, or jua kali)

    8. Complete curriculum vitae

    9. The required amount and how long it will take to repay.(Not more than Kshs. 50,000 for an individual payable over a period of two years).

    A brief description of how the applicant will want to use the money in less than one page.

    The process of applying for the Uwezo Fund

    When applying for Uwezo Kenya, the applicants have to register for the capacity building program and ensure they get a valid certificate.

    They also have to meet the application requirements before filling in the application form.

    Once duly filled, they should submit the Uwezo fund application form alongside the necessary documents to the committee in charge of the fund within the constituency of application.

    Finally, the applicants will wait for the notification from the management committee.

    Like a loan, the Uwezo Fund individual loan has a six-month grace period after which it becomes repayable for a period of eight months.

    This term is enough to ensure that the fund revolves and other groups and individuals also benefit.

    The amount given shall depend on the assessment of the management committee at the constituency level but no group shall receive more than Kshs 500,000.

    The amount cannot attract any interest fee. The Uwezo Kenya fund gives special consideration to persons living with disabilities, youth and women.

    Uwezo Fund Contact Details

    Lonrho House, 16th Floor, Standard St.

    P. O. Box 42009 – 00100, Nairobi

    Call: +254 020 2210557

    Email: info@uwezo.go.ke

    ceo@uwezo.go.ke

    complaints@uwezo.go.ke

    programmes@uwezo.go.ke

    hr@uwezo.go.ke

    Website: https://www.uwezo.go.ke