Mastercard, Unilever and KCB Bank have partnered to support micro-retailers in Kenya, by expanding their current Jaza Duka program. Jaza Duka, which is Swahili for fill up your store, is part of Mastercard’s Track Micro Credit Program. The program is a global, inclusive credit ecosystem for small businesses that helps them overcome cash constraints by enabling them to access short-term credit.

Jaza Duka partners have pooled resources to provide retailers in the program with a business recovery package worth over Ksh. 15 million (USD 150,000). This package will be divided and delivered in the form of direct financial assistance, free health products to meet the rising demand and customized business education, and training to help retailers navigate the current business environment and build the foundation for sustainable resilience.

The program combines data distribution from Unilever and analysis by Mastercard to provide micro-credit eligibility recommendations to KCB Bank. The bank then uses this information to assess a retailer’s credit worthiness and extend formal credit for stock purchases, with zero interest for up to 17 days.

According to a survey by the Central Bank of Kenya, 75% of Kenya’s small and medium-sized businesses faced collapse without urgent intervention by key stakeholders. Enabling small businesses to recover quickly by continuing to access capital has been earmarked as a key driver for economic restoration and growth.

“At Mastercard, we have seen the Jaza Duka initiative transform the lives and businesses of thousands of micro-merchants in Kenya over the last two years. By continuing to enable access to much-needed capital throughout the pandemic and by overlaying that with additional financial and non-financial assistance for retailers in the program, we strongly believe that we can help merchants start to rebuild and position themselves for a more resilient future,” said Natasha Jamal, MEA Regional Director at the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth.

Following the success of the program, Mastercard plans to expand the Track Micro Credit Program to other markets across Africa, Asia and the Middle East in the coming months.