In a transformative stride toward empowering the Jua Kali sector, KCB Bank has forged an unprecedented agreement with the Kenya National Federation of Jua Kali Associations (KNFJKA).

The partnership aims to expedite the provision of affordable credit and capacity building to members of this umbrella organization, marking a significant leap forward for informal sector entrepreneurs.

Through a practical collaboration framework, KCB Bank and the KCB Foundation will extend their unwavering support to individuals from diverse sub-sectors within the Jua Kali Association.

These sectors include Carpentry, Woodcrafts, Metalworks, Soapstone crafts, Leather production, Textile products, Clay/Poetry crafts, Beekeeping Mechanical Engineering, Food processing, and Electrical sub-sectors.

By offering a comprehensive range of financial and non-financial services, KCB Bank is set to ignite the growth and prosperity of these artisans.

Addressing attendees during the momentous MoU signing ceremony, Angela Mwirigi, KCB Bank's Director of Digital Financial Services, stressed the urgency of breathing new life into the Jua Kali sector.

“The engagement we are unveiling today is a response to the urgent need for players within the Jua Kali sub-sector to tap into more formal entrepreneurial opportunities currently available with a goal to progress towards decent work for all,” Angela said.

KCB Bank Kenya and KCB Foundation will work closely to ensure that your members are well positioned within the skills development eco-system both locally and regionally."

Despite the Jua Kali sector's invaluable contribution to the economy, it faces systemic challenges that impede its full potential.

These obstacles encompass a lack of viable markets for their goods, limited access to essential social protection services such as pensions and insurance, inadequate infrastructure, and a dearth of recognized skills upgrading frameworks, among others.

Mwirigi underscored the imperative of inclusive financial systems that recognize the sector's skills and acknowledge its economic contributions.

“There exists overwhelming evidence that the Jua Kali sector can become more competitive by increasing their involvement in formal support initiatives. We, therefore, have an opportunity to link them up to an inclusive financial system that recognizes their skills and appreciates their contribution to the economy. As a bank with the largest network coverage in the region, we are well-positioned to support this agenda,”  she affirmed.

Expressing his appreciation, Richard Muteti, CEO of the Kenya National Federation of Jua Kali Associations, hailed KCB's visionary move, predicting it would unlock the untapped potential of the informal sector.

“As sector players, we welcome KCB Bank and KCB Foundation on board this as through their respective interventions, we shall get the capacity to focus and upscale our entrepreneurial endeavors. As a result, we look forward to reaping the full benefits of a robust SME sector that guarantees sustained growth,” Mr. Muteti said. Muteti proclaimed.

The Economic Survey of 2022 revealed that 80 per cent of the slightly more than 900,000 jobs created in 2021 were in the informal sector, primarily dominated by small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

This statistic underscores the importance of effective business support for informal enterprises to flourish across various engagement areas.

With this landmark partnership between KCB Bank and the Kenya National Federation of Jua Kali Associations, there is renewed hope for the Jua Kali sector.

By providing accessible credit and capacity building, coupled with formal support initiatives, entrepreneurs in this vital sector will have the necessary tools to drive their businesses forward and contribute to sustained economic growth.