The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED), supported by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, has announced its first USD 30 million investment in Kenya (Sh3.57 billion).
With a focus on Kenya agreements, the UAE Fund created a local innovation and entrepreneurship centre in February.
The capital, according to the fund funded by the Abu Dhabi State, will be distributed via the Kenyan Youth Enterprise Development Fund.
The funds would aim to give potential start-ups and creators early-stage finance, it was said. It was unknown at first whether the funding was a donation or a loan.
According to KFED, 'more than 3,000 projects will be funded, with 40% of the funding going to women, and it is anticipated that these initiatives would provide close to 13,000 job possibilities for Kenyan youth.'
The fund claims on its website that loans totaling Sh40.8 billion have been disbursed (1.32 billion AED).
It had originally said that it will assist with funding, provide training, and link Kenyan SME's with investors.
One of the largest obstacles for aspiring Kenyan business owners is access to markets and start-up funding since banks demand collateral that the majority of them lack, according to a previous survey.
In order to finance firms owned by young people, the Kenyan Youth Enterprise Development Fund was founded in 2006.
The National Treasury and Planning Ministry in the Republic of Kenya and the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development inked a Dh110 million (USD 30 million) finance deal to strengthen the Kenyan Youth Enterprise Development Fund, according to a statement from KFED.
The agreement, which was signed in front of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta by Alia Al Mazrouei, CEO of KFED, and Ukur Kanacho Yatani, Cabinet Secretary, National Treasury and Planning Ministry, intends to support small and medium-sized businesses in Kenya.
The Abu Dhabi government established the Khalifa Fund in 2007 with a total capitalization of Sh61.9 billion (USD 545 million).
According to KFED CEO Alia Al Mazrouei, 'We seek to help the Kenyan government efforts to achieve economic growth via increasing the SMEs sector, spreading the culture of entrepreneurship among young, and women's empowerment.'