Faulu Microfinance has announced a Ksh. 1 billion lending capacity to farmers, traders, contractors, manufacturers and property developers in Nakuru, Nyandarua and Laikipia counties. The move comes in a bid to boost Faulu’s presence in the counties by increasing support to SMEs to play a bigger role in key sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, trade, tourism and real estate.

Speaking during the launch of the lender’s new branch in Nakuru Town, Faulu Bank CEO Apollo Njoroge said, “Faulu is keen on strengthening its play in the counties, where the economic action is taking place, by providing much needed financial support to improve the capacity of small enterprises to take advantage of unfolding trade opportunities at the devolved level.”

Njoroge explained that Nakuru’s status as a major transit town along the busy Mombasa-Nairobi-Malaba highway positions it to expand into a prime regional commercial hub serving the central rift and western parts of the country.

Faulu is offering trade and asset financing to growing businesses involved in value addition activities in agro-processing, manufacturing, horticulture, dairy and housing in the county. The trade finance products include Local Purchase Order (LPO) and Local Service Order (LSO) financing, invoice discounting, supply chain financing, tender/bid bonds, advance payment guarantee, retention bond, payment guarantees and customs bonds.

The Bank will also provide crop insurance to farmers through its bancassurance agency.

The Nakuru branch was recently consolidated with the Njoro marketing office as the Bank seeks to re-engage with its clientele by creating operational synergies.

The Bank, which has over 500,000 customers across the country, including individuals and groups, is also targeting individuals and households in the areas with a variety of personal finance products. This includes the large population of teachers, civils servants and employees of county governments.

Faulu has also partnered with Kenya Seed Company to help farmers purchase seeds and increase its high agricultural output especially maize, wheat and potato production.

Also speaking at the opening of the new branch, Nakuru County Governor Lee Kinyanjui said, “Nakuru County is open to business. This move by Faulu Bank symbolizes the strong partnership between the county government and private sector in creating real economic opportunities for our people.”

Faulu has also officially opened a branch in Nyahururu town which it has upgraded from a marketing office in order to position itself strongly in Laikipia County.

Laikipia County Governor Ndiritu Muriithi hailed the decision by Faulu as an endorsement of the county to investors. “I am pleased to note that Faulu Bank will be increasing its support to local businesses. The Laikipia county government is ready to work closely with financial services providers to deepen commerce as we transform the local economy.”