WomenWork and Mastercard Announce Interest-Free Emergency Loans for Women-Led Businesses –

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WomenWork, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, announced the launch of Rebuild, a program for women entrepreneurs.

The reconstruction program includes an interest-free short-term emergency working capital loan for businesses, expert-led business training, and support from an engaging peer community of other women entrepreneurs, all delivered in line.

This is the first time that WomenWork has led such an initiative in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation in Kenya. The emergency loan facility aims to provide a soft landing against COVID-19 which has disproportionately affected women-owned businesses.

Access to finance will act as a short-term working capital facility to enable entrepreneurs to stabilize their businesses, retain their staff, and adapt their businesses to better survive the pandemic and beyond.

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In addition to funding, program participants will receive a business needs assessment and be able to fill gaps with business experts by joining a network of diverse women entrepreneurs for peer support.

“We are aware that many businesses are facing significant challenges and have closed or are about to close. We hope that our emergency funding will allow women to survive the devastating effects of COVID-19 on their businesses and hopefully protect themselves against impending job losses and stabilize their businesses during this time, ”he said. said Asha Mweru, co-founder of WomenWork Network.

The loan facility is open to companies from all sectors that are operational in Kenya that have 51% or more female shares, 50 employees or less and generate income of up to Ksh 5 million per year.

“We know that even in ordinary times, women-owned businesses have difficulty accessing lines of credit. Such challenges were exacerbated during these extraordinary days and motivated the Mastercard Foundation to support a program with strong intentionality, ”said Daniel Hailu, Regional Manager East and Southern Africa of the Mastercard Foundation.

Successful applicants from WomenWork’s Rebuild program in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation will receive emergency funds directly to their mobile money accounts or bank accounts.

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