Since the resumption of The Maa Trust (TMT) in July after closure caused by COVID-19, our Gender Project Officer, Isen Kipetu resumed training women in the Maasai Mara about loan procurement. This is especially needed now after so many of the women’s businesses have been affected by the pandemic.
“COVID-19 has really affected our businesses as the markets have been closed and therefore we can no longer get our daily income. We used to save Kshs.150 every week and help each other in buying household items at the end of the month as a group, but because of the pandemic, this is no longer possible. This means that buying our basic needs such as food has also become a challenge.” Nayengiyeng’unye Karkar, a business lady in one of the training groups.
The Maa Trust has been training members of Maa Beadwork, Maa Honey, and other microfinance groups about savings and loan procurement since June 2018. TMT acts as a bridge between the Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) and women’s groups, providing them with access to social capital. The Women Enterprise Fund is a Semi-Autonomous Government Agency in the Ministry of Public Service, Youth & Gender Affairs established in August 2007, to provide accessible and affordable credit to support women start and/or expand business for wealth and employment creation.
So far, The Maa Trust has linked six women’s groups with the Women Enterprise Fund who in turn has given each group loans of Kshs. 100,000.
“The Maa Trust has opened for us doors to visions that we did not have before. We did not know that as women we could do great things if we come together, save and get loans. But with these trainings and constant coaching, we have seen that we have the potential of supporting each other to achieve great things.” Noolasho Karkar, a group member.
The six groups have all completed paying their loans in a timely manner. One of the groups, Mbitin Naretoi, is now applying for a loan of Kshs. 200,000 to improve their businesses come next year.
“We plan to pull in the Kshs. 200,000 into a joint enterprise that will accumulate profits of up to 50%, after that we will continue to invest in this enterprise as a team. We advise other women to start with something small and it will grow instead of waiting to get a lot of money for a big business.” Melua Pesi, Chairlady, Mbitin Naretoi women’s group.
The Maa Trust will continue training these women and providing them with much-needed support as they work towards rebuilding their businesses after the serious economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
If any partners would like to support efforts in training these 854 women in microfinance and business skills, please contact email@example.com.