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Hustler Fund Initiative – A Review of the 10 Special Funds Offered

The hustler fund has been an anticipatory subject for Kenyans even though political parties across have mixed reactions to the new government policy. the opposition party has criticized the policy stating that it is a populist ideology, the plan remains a secret to be rollout in a few weeks.

What is the hustler fund?

The hustler fund policy is a fund that was proposed by the Kenya Kwanza coalition. The hustler fund foundation was the main policy introduced by president Ruto’s manifesto, the policy is to be rolled out on 1st December 2022. The hustler fund seeks to address the issues of vulnerable groups like women, youth, and persons living with disabilities by reducing poverty and inequality through enhanced access to financial facilities.

The hustler fund is the basic policy of the manifesto the aim is to have 50 billion funds that are controlled by the government. The funds aim to improve the country’s economy through the provision of cheap credit to the average Kenyan citizens

The fund mainly focuses on helping the average citizens in the informal sector to secure low-interest loans this is because the private sector is reluctant to offer loans and it also offers high-interest loans.

Campaigning of the hustler fund:

The hustler fund foundation of the Kenya kwanza party offered a lot of promises to Kenyans and it was associated with a lot of industries including:

1. Increment of electric vehicles and motorcycles to the youth sector; this, therefore, boosts creativity and also the development of the ICT sector.

2. National health organization fund(NHIF); the hustler fund aims at reforming the health sector to offer affordable health insurance

3. Ksh 50 billion grant ( no interest ); in the campaign season, the hustler fund sold this manifesto to uplift the youth and offer them capital to start and grow small businesses.

Who qualifies for the hustler fund?

President Ruto has promised that the major beneficiaries of the hustler fund will be the mama Mboga, barbers, and bodaboda operators among other classes of average Kenyan citizens.

The hustler fund has no age limit nor gender discrimination it is, therefore, open o anyone who is above 18 years and is a prospective business owner or is already running a business.

Beneficiaries of the hustler fund however have to join or be members of cooperatives, Chamas, and SACCOs to be able to access the hustler loan funds. The units that the members choose to join for example a cooperative are going to e used as collateral for the credit given t its members.

The interest rate for the hustler fund loans

The Kenya kwanza team stated in its manifesto and also in its public rallies that the hustler fund would be given out as grants and that it would not attract any interest; however, in recent times the plan changed and all the factors indicated that the fund will attract interest in the short term

The interest rate of this fund however will be lower compared to the other current market rates

“Kenya Kwanza will dignify the business of every ordinary Kenyan. That is why we are setting up a Ksh50 billion Hustler Fund so that small enterprises can access interest-free credit to facilitate their growth, hence supporting more livelihoods,” Ruto stated in July this year.

The president announced that the interest rate that will be charged will be less than 10% per annum.

Simon Chelugui the Cabinet secretary nominee for cooperative and micro and medium enterprises development also echoed the president’s promise of single-digit interest rates.

The hustler fund compared to other funds

The Uwezo Fund was one of the Jubilee government’s social development programs. It aims to enable women, youth, and people with disabilities to access funds to promote businesses and enterprises at the constituency level. It was established in 2014 and has so far distributed Ksh6.95 billion to over a million recipients. The Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) has so far distributed over Ksh377.9 million to over 30,000 women’s organizations. It is supported by the national government and provides funding to women-led businesses.

The Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) is one of several social development funds established by the government in recent years for a specific population. The fund was established in 2006 as one of Vision 2030’s flagship projects. (YEDF) has distributed over Ksh15 billion throughout its 15-year existence. In the fiscal year 2021/2022, the corporation had a budget of Ksh412 million; it also operates at the constituency level.

As a result, the basic premise of the Hustler Fund is not radically new. It does, however, stand out in comparison to any other social development fund established by the national government. Because of its size, its annual budget will be greater than any of these funds have received cumulatively over the last 15 years.

Operationalization of the hustler fund

Other critical details about the Hustler Fund’s operation will become clearer once the final legal framework is released. Earlier this year, the president stated that beneficiaries would be a part of a registered group that would provide security for the available funds. Member savings, on the other hand, have since been introduced as the foundation for security. The president has also suggested that people receive credit based on their savings.

The president has also promised to distribute funds over the phone. However, it is unknown whether the funds will be transferred directly by the government or via a private institution. Several banks and a major telecommunications company are said to be interested in receiving the Ksh50 billion.

The Hustler Fund will be managed by the national government, and it is expected to be available at the constituency level. In July, the then-presidential candidate stated that the funds would be distributed on a one-man, one-shilling basis per constituency

Special funds in the hustler fund initiative

1. National Disabled Persons Fund

This will be made possible by combining the Fund and the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD), as well as ensuring parliamentary oversight for accountability. In addition, the government will increase the capitation of students with disabilities by 50% and set aside 15% of all public-funded bursaries for students with disabilities.

2. Infrastructure Trust Fund

This fund will be established with initial capital from privatization proceeds, to reduce budgetary funding for commercially viable infrastructure projects. Priority will be given to project grants or concessional financing in the areas of water, health, education, the environment, and climate change.

3. National Housing Trust Fund

The government will structure a long-term housing finance scheme, including the National Housing Fund and Cooperative Social Housing Schemes, to increase the supply of new housing to 250,000 per year. The fund will also help to increase the share of the affordable housing supply by up to 50%.

4. Settlement fund

This will be a fund similar to what was used after independence to acquire land from settler farmers. According to the Ruto administration, the right to housing is enshrined in the Constitution and is not limited to urban settlements, as the majority of Kenyans live in their own rural homes. The Settlement Fund will assist them in addressing their fair share of land and settlement-related issues, such as landlessness and insecure land tenure.

5. Film Fund

The Film Fund is expected to support the creative industry as part of a plan to increase the value of Kenyan exports such as fashion, leather products, and crafts. The new government will press Parliament to pass the Creative Economy Bill, which will allow the creation of a film fund, facilitating access to modern equipment and entire film production infrastructure for local filmmakers on a hire-and-lease basis.

6. Fuel Stability Fund

The Ruto administration has promised to establish a legal framework to protect the fund established by the Uhuru Kenyatta administration. Petroleum, Kenya’s single-largest import, will continue to be an essential fuel for several decades. Consumers, however, face price volatility, with tax being a major factor in the high cost of petroleum products.

7. Benevolent fund for sporting heroes

Kenya’s achievements on international sports platforms were recognized in the Kenya Kwanza manifesto. However, previous administrations have frequently let down athletes in terms of facilitation and adequate resources. To make amends for past mistakes, the coalition pledged to ensure that sports are adequately funded, facilitated, and developed.

8. Chronic and Catastrophic Illness and Injury National Fund

The fund will help people who have illnesses or injuries that are not covered by insurance or have very limited coverage, such as cancer, diabetes, stroke, accident rehabilitation, and pandemics.

9. Fund for Social Welfare

If established, this fund will serve as a safety net for diaspora citizens in need. Concerns have grown about Kenyans working abroad, particularly in Middle Eastern countries, being stranded or forced to work under inhumane conditions.

10. The Equity Fund

According to the Kenya Kwanza manifesto, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) account for 85 percent of non-farm jobs, which currently account for 15 million of the 18 million workforces.

To ensure its success, the government has committed to Sh50 billion per year to provide MSMEs with 100% affordable financing. It’s still unclear whether the Equity Fund is the same as or distinct from the Huster Fund.

How to apply hustler funds

Getting approval by the Cabinet on Tuesday, November 15, disbursement of the Ksh50 billion annual Hustlers’ Fund kitty is set to begin on December 1, 2022. Individuals, groups, small businesses, and co-operatives will be able to access the funds at an annual interest rate of 8%.

Originally, the cabinet communication stated that the loans would range from a minimum of Ksh500 to a maximum of Ksh50,000. Later on Wednesday, President William Ruto clarified that the Ksh50,000 limit was set for individual borrowers and that other categories would have a higher limit.

the Hustlers Fund will offer three types of loans, or rather will loan on three different levels.

1. Loans to individuals

2. Loans to groups

3. Loans to small enterprises and co-operatives

Details on the eligibility process for loans to groups and small businesses are still scarce.

Hustlers Fund loans will be available through financial institutions such as banks, microfinance institutions, and Saccos.

“The amount of money available on the personal loan platform is Ksh500 – Ksh50,000. The next product for Chamas will start from Ksh50,000 to Ksh250,000, then the next one will climb up like that as we continue to roll out the fund,” Ruto stated during a Kenya Kwanza Parliamentary Group meeting at State House.

Requirements for eligibility

All Kenyans who want to apply for the hustler fund must meet the following requirements:

Be a permanent resident of Kenya.

You must be at least 18 years old.

Have a valid certificate of Good Conduct.

Belonging to the low-income category.

Be a member of one of the credit unions or investment groups that will act as guarantors.

Loan Limits for the Hustler Fund

Individual loans from the Hustler Fund will range from Ksh500 to Ksh50,000.

The loan amounts allocated to each application will vary depending on the customer’s business requirements.

How to apply

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for a loan once it is available. The application procedure is as follows:

1. Create a women’s or youth group.

2. Construct a business proposal.

3. Create a Good Conduct Certificate.

4. Enter your home address.

5. Obtain four guarantors’ signatures. It would be best if you were related to at least two people.

6. Sign a nondisclosure agreement to serve a jail term for government fraud if you do not repay within 6 months.

7. Establish a bank account with National Bank or KCB.

8. produce your KRA Pin.

Conclusion

The Hustler Fund has gained national attention as Kenyans wait for the government to provide low-cost capital. The amount of money promised is significant and unprecedented in the history of publicly-funded social enterprise programs. Those who support it believe it will go a long way toward alleviating current economic challenges such as high living costs, limited access to credit, high credit costs, as well as inequality. However, how it is implemented will have a significant impact on its success. All eyes will be on the President and his Ministry of Cooperatives team, as well as on Parliament, which will almost certainly be required to pass the necessary statutory law

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