1.6B BOOST TO KENYAN COVID-19 KITTY BY DIAMOND TRUST BANK

Diamond Trust Bank boost Kenyan COVID-19 kitty. PHOTO /CORRESPONDENT

DTB commits KSh1.6 billion in Covid-19 recovery loans for SMEs

By Patience Chemjor

Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) will advance 1.6 billion to Micro,

Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) this year to aid in Covid-19

recovery, the Bank’s leadership has announced.

DTB Board Chairman Linus Gitahi said the Bank would place particular

emphasis on MSMEs that are led by women.

He spoke at a breakfast hosted by the Bank to celebrate its Women owned

and managed – MSME customers at Nairobi’s Artcaffe, on 14 Riverside.

“We all know that the pandemic had a terrible impact on our lives and

livelihoods. Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) felt the brunt

of the pandemic-induced harsh economic conditions that characterized

much of 2020. The National Treasury selected DTB as one of the

participating banks to provide access to financing for Kenyan MSMEs

under the Credit Guarantee Scheme,” said Mr Gitahi.

On his part, DTB Head of Branches and Alternate Channels George Otiende

noted that DTB is expected to advance the bulk of the funding, KSh1.2

billion, by June this year.

“Of the KSh1.6 billion that was allocated to DTB, 30% should go to

women, youth and persons living with disability. We’re calling upon

registered businesses across all sectors, for any financing needs

including working capital, term loans or asset financing to take

advantage of the facility,” he added.

Mr Otiende said this would be in addition to other measures taken to

help businesses get back on their feet by replenishing their working

capital, aiding the acquisition of business assets and recovery from

the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

DTB held the meeting as part of its efforts to deepen financial

literacy and business acumen among its women-led MSME customers.

The guest speakers at the event were Qhala CEO Dr Shikoh Gitau,

Honeycomb Jewellery founder Nafisa Rayani, and Julie Gichuru, the Head

of Public Affairs and Communication at the Mastercard Foundation.

Drawing from lessons learnt from their careers, the guest speakers

urged the entrepreneurs to learn to adapt to change and to reengineer

their businesses to take advantage of new trends and habits, such as

the digital age.

Dr Gitau asked entrepreneurs to digitise and digitalise their

businesses.

“They sound very alike. There is digitisation and there is

digitalisation. The first one is very simple, because you convert your

forms and other records into digital formats. Digitilisation is turning

your business into something digital. It means you are moving your

business from brick and mortar into something digital,” said Dr Gitau.

Drawing from her experiences right from school through to several

changes in her career, Mrs Gichuru urged the entrepreneurs to be humble

and learn to adapt and understand changes in communication.

“The ability to be humble and accept that we don’t know everything is

one of the most powerful things in the world, and it’s what will drive

success from failure,” said Mrs Gichuru.

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