Stanbic Bank Uganda in partnership with the United Nations (UN) and other financial agencies have created an enterprise fund, Economic Enterprise Restart Fund (EERF) to provide low-cost financing to the informal sector to help them recover from the impact of the pandemic.
According to a press release, the Economic Enterprise Restart Fund (EERF) will provide cheaper funding to SMEs, savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs) as well as village savings and credit associations (VSLAs) to improve their productivity and provide both digital and technical support in capacity building and institutional development.
To help increase consumption, create employment opportunities and reduce poverty in the rural and peri-urban areas, EERF will also drive financial inclusion through the digital banking process and build economic activity sustainability.
The fund was launched by Anna Juuko, the chief executive officer and Rosa Malango, the UN resident coordinator.
“Our commitment to the Economic Enterprise Restart Fund is an opportunity for a new type of partnership between the UN and a leading private sector institution-Stanbic to adapt and respond to the impact of COVID-19 on the most vulnerable sectors of the economy and the most likely segments of the population to be left behind. This is a recipe to finance sustainable development and I look forward to having other partners join us,” said Malango.
Stanbic bank executive director said that the fund is intended to create employment, widen the tax base through improved economic activity, grow businesses and increase export base and import substitution – a stepping stone towards reviving the economy.
Mugisha further noted; “The Economic Enterprise Restart Fund will improve the socio-economic status of women in rural areas by empowering them to become financially stable to establish or boost their small-scale businesses, procure their needed equipment and infrastructure for their economic activity, and enable take better care of their children and families.”
“Through the Stanbic business incubator, we shall provide financial literacy for SMEs, SACCOs, VSLA’s and enterprises to enhance the development and sustainability of their businesses. This will be integrated them into the financial sector, ensure that they have access to mainstream banking channels and a credit facility, get digital and capacity building training,” Juuko added.