President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto yesterday launched a Kshs. 6 billion fund for both the youth and women, dubbed the Uwezo Fund. The Uwezo Fund monies comes from the Kshs. 6 Billion meant for Presidential run-off that was left unused. Uwezo Fund will be available to women and youth groups and will be distributed at the constituency level.
How the Uwezo fund will work
1. At the National level, a National Uwezo Fund Oversight Board shall provide overall management, design and oversight of the Fund. The Board is supported by a Secretariat.
2. The Uwezo Fund will be administered through the Constituency Development Fund framework in all 290 constituencies. The Constituencies Development Fund Committees will in turn constitute the Constituency Uwezo Fund Management Committees to oversee implementation of the Fund.
3. Representatives of Women, Youth and person with disability will be part of the Constituency Uwezo Fund Management committees.
4. The Fund will operate as a revolving Fund ensuring continuity and sustainability.
5. Borrowing groups will be expected to apply Table Banking principles.
6. The Fund will be organically linked to 30% public procurement spend preference closing the loop between access to opportunities for enterprise development and supply side capabilities.
Who can apply
Women and youth groups
Requirements for applying to the Uwezo Fund
1. The youth or women group should be registered with the Department of Social Services or the Registrar of Societies with a membership of 9 â€“ 15 members. A Certified copy of Registration Certificate will be required.
2. The youth group membership must be between 18 and 35 years of age.
3. Preference will be granted to groups that have been in existence for at least six (6) months. Minutes of group meetings will be required.
4. The groups should be based and operating within the Constituency it seeks to make an application for consideration for a loan from the Uwezo Fund.
5. The group should operate a table banking (Chama) structure where members make monthly contributions according to the groupsâ€™ internal guidelines. Evidence of monthly contributions will be required.
6. The group should hold a bank account in the name of the group. Bank statements will be required.
7. They should be recommended by the Chief of the location.
8. Photocopies of IDs and PINs of all the members will be required.
9. List of members that include their ID card numbers and telephone numbers.
How to apply for the Uwezo Fund
1. Sign up for Capacity Building Programme once launched and ensure you get a certificate.
2. Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria
3. Fill an application form. Download the Uwezo Fund Application Form here or get it at the Constituency Uwezo Fund Management Committee office.
4. Submit the application form together with relevant documents to the Uwezo Fund Management Committee within your constituency
5. Await notification of the Uwezo Fund Management committee
Uwezo Fund Capacity Building Programme
The National Uwezo Fund Oversight Board in collaboration with the Ministry of Devolution and Planning will roll out a Uwezo Fund Capacity Building Programme to prepare potential beneficiaries of Uwezo Fund. Interested Youth and Women groups will be trained for an initial period of three months before they can apply for the Uwezo Fund through the Uwezo Fund Capacity Building Programme. The Uwezo Fund Capacity Building Program will be available for one year.
The Uwezo Fund Capacity Building Program will focus on four key areas namely;
- General Information on Uwezo Fund
- Business Development Services and Mentoring
- Table Banking
- Access to 30 percent Public Procurement tender opportunities for Youth, Women and persons with disability.
Once the Fund has been fully rolled out, interested registered youth and women groups can visit the nearest Constituency Development Fund office to register for the Uwezo Fund capacity building program.
1. The amount given shall be based on assessment by the Constituency Uwezo Fund Management Committee but will not be more than Kshs. 500,000 per group.
2. The Uwezo Fund is a loan. Youth and Women groups who will access the Fund will have a grace period of six (6) months and it will be repayable in eight installments.
3. The amount loaned will not attract interest but a 3% administration fee will be charged.
4. Application for funds by Youth and Women living with Disabilities will be given special consideration.
For more information, check out uwezo.co.ke.