KENYA – Coca-Cola Beverages Africa in Kenya has partnered with financial services group Absa Group, health service provider Amref Health Africa, and Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) to support over 18,000 eateries and all official Coca-Cola distributors across the country.
To spear head this initiative, the Coca-Cola System has committed KSH 125 million (US$1.15m) to support small and micro businesses to recover and re-open after the impact of COVID-19 on the economy that saw most of them lose revenue and close.
Under the campaign ‘Open Like Never Before’, the partnership is geared towards helping the food-outlets meet the strict Covid-related safety regulations as well as funds to restock their businesses, reports Business Daily.
The kitty will be spent on enhancing hygienic standards, training staff, equipping the food outlets with the required protective gears, functional collateral, hand-washing equipment and sanitisers, welcome back deals and access to financing.
“We have a rich client data that reveals individual abilities of each business and we believe as corporates, we have a societal duty to support the SMEs to recoup losses made in the past six months and thrive as they have always done.”Coca-Coca Beverages Africa Finance Director – Josphat Mwangi
In terms of financing, the soft drinks manufacturer has opened its trading partners’ transactional financial data for use by listed lender Absa Bank Kenya in disbursement of business continuity loans.
Coca-Coca Beverages Africa Finance Director Josphat Mwangi said, “We have a rich client data that reveals individual abilities of each business and we believe as corporates, we have a societal duty to support the SMEs to recoup losses made in the past six months and thrive as they have always done.”
Absa regional corporate and investment banking Director James Agin welcomed the development saying access to financial data gives a verifiable tool in determining each trader’s credit score when issuing loans to the largely unbanked businesses.
“We are partnering to avail a recovery path for the traders who will now enjoy access to a credit ecosystem,” he said.
Opening transactional financial data redefines engagement rules between lenders and the family-owned SMEs.
Unlike the traditional uniform and fixed interest rates, the credit score rating being championed by the Central Bank of Kenya creates a new way to rate each borrower based on transactional financial data.
This enables lenders to determine each trader’s credit scorecard and decide the interest rate to be imposed on every loan disbursed.
In addition to the overarching initiative, the Laikipia county government has indicated that it will offset part of the cost of loans advanced to outlets within the county and are actively minimizing barriers to entry for small traders in major towns.
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