Uwezo fund is a program by the government of Kenya that offers business loans to the youth, women, and people with disabilities.

The program runs at the constituency level to support and promote the target group enterprises.

Since its launch in 2014, the fund has disbursed over 6 billion Kenyan shillings to over one million beneficiaries.  Below are some of the key objectives the fund targets to achieve;

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  • Promote gender equality through offering access to credit.

For a long time, access to finance in the country has been biased against these groups making it harder to achieve equality without access to finances. Through the Uwezo fund, these target groups can now start access capital to start and grow local enterprises.

  • Create opportunities for people with disabilities
  • Eliminate hunger and poverty levels in the country

Growth in income from the fund enterprises helps the members to afford some basic needs such as food and housing.

Every Kenyan in this target group is eligible to qualify for the funds upon meeting the below threshold.

  • Applicants must be in a formal group
  • The group should be registered
  • The youth age consideration is between the age of 18-35 years.

Uwezo fund products

Uwezo fund has various products in its portfolio. Each product has its unique features and requirements as below.

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There are different types of loans available through uwezo fund. These include both the Wezesha loan and Endeleza loan.

1. Wezesha loan

This is a loan for groups groups borrowing for the first time. It ranges between 50,000 to 100,000 Kenyan shillings.

To apply for the loan,

  • you need to ensure you are within the categories of people above.
  • Have an operational bank account with the group’s name
  • Fill in the application form at the constituency level
  • Undergo a business appraisal by the Constituency Uwezo Fund Management Committee (CUFMC)

Upon satisfying the committee by meeting the set criteria, disbursement is done to the group’s account.

Repayments and Loan

The Uwezo fund loans have a 1-year tenor. However, the Fund gives a month’s grace period after which you should start paying monthly. securing the loan is done through guarantorship by the members.

2. Endeleza Loan

The second type of loan given by the Uwezo fund is known as the Endeleza loan. The loan targets the subsequent borrowers. These are groups that have already benefited from the wezesha loan and are looking to expand their businesses.

The loan is given based on wezesha loans incrementally. The cap for Endeleza loans Is 500,000 shillings.

The assumption when getting the Endeleza loan is that the business has expanded and the Endeleza loan is coming in to support this growth.

The name Endeleza is a Swahili name that means continuation.

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How to qualify for the Endeleza loan

All the qualification requirements for wezesha loans apply in Endeleza loans. In addition to this, you should

  • Have successfully paid for the previous wezesha loan
  • Demonstrate proper usage of the previous funds in growing income and creating employment.

Repayment of endeleza loan

The loans repayment intervals are 12,18, and 24 months on equal installments depending on the timelines.

The loan usually has a grace period of 30 days. This is different for the wezesha loan that has a grace period of 6 months.

Uwezo Fund Enterprise Development

The fund has a responsibility in promoting enterprise development in the country. Enterprise development entails offering non-financial services meant to grow and expand the businesses of the fund beneficiaries.

Some of the roles taken during enterprise development include;

  • Regular business training to ensure the startups are run professionally.
  • Training the beneficiaries on the best Marketing skills
  • Networking-This involves connecting the business with markets and potential customers.

Success Stories

The fund has made some major milestones since its launch. Today, millions of Kenyans in the target groups have directly benefited from the product.

From the small beginnings of wezesha loans, some businesses have grown to become top corporate in the country.

As per the industry, the Agriculture sector has been the biggest beneficiary in disbursements. With this expansion, the members are benefiting from making an income that is key in the government’s role to reduce and eliminate hunger and poverty.

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Challenges Facing Uwezo Fund

1. Limited loan limits- Due to the limitation of the funding amount, the loan may not support some enterprises that are capital intensive. This limits the potential Kenyans who fall within the target category but have an idea that requires more funding

2. Low product awareness– Although the product is good, lack of awareness among the Kenyans has limited its benefits. There need to be more campaigns and awareness to help in growing the reach and inclusivity.

3. Low funds allocation by the government – just like most government programs, limitation in funding is a key challenge in such initiatives. This limits the number of people and the amount that can benefit from the fund.

Uwezo fund website. You can also visit their offices at the constituency level.


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