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ICDC banks on Sh2b Gov’t subsidy for SME lending

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The Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC) is set to grow its investment portfolio by Sh 2billion annually from next year to fund small and medium sized enterprises at the counties.

The state-owned development finance institution will be betting big on passing of a bill currently in parliament that proposes government injection of a percentage of gross domestic product each year to support youth projects at the counties.

ICDC Chairman, Francis Kimemia told journalists the bill likely to be passed before the close of the year will greatly change the corporation’s business focus as it plans widen its scope in funding county projects in 2017.

“We are looking at a more restructured ICDC that focuses on projects supporting growth of youth and counties in the coming year. Once the bill is passed, it will bring Sh2 billion per year into our business portfolio,” said Kimemia.

Passing of the bill will mark the first time the corporation will be receiving government funding support since it started operations over 60 years ago, with the institution keen on supporting agro-processing, infrastructure projects that support young people at the counties.

Already, the firm has started working on a strategy paper targeting youth seeking growth funds in the counties and has initiated talks with several micro finance institutions to channel the funds to the targeted enterprises.

“ICDC wants to bring value to youth in counties. Unless we start thinking outside the box, youth issues like unemployment and related effects will be explosive without proper management,” said Kimemia.

ICDC Acting executive Director, Kennedy Wanderi said the move will further boost the corporation’s revenues as it targets to raise Sh1.2 billion in this financial year ending June 2017 having raised Sh200 million for the first quarter.

“It looks like a tall order but we are going to achieve this if we maintain our business focus. The momentum we have will result to more earnings,” said Wanderi.

The firm has so far disbursed Sh 625 million to support small businesses across the country with another Sh369 million approved and waiting disbursement.

ICDC supports businesses in manufacturing, agro-processing, infrastructure, energy and software development sectors.

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