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Kenyan designers to get financial boost
Jun '16
Kenya's Equity Bank has launched a comprehensive financial solution that will give players in the creative industry, including the fashion industry easy access to finance, according to media reports in the country.

Maridadi Business is a credit facility up to $1 million that also includes financial education.

The proposition is designed to scale-up and strengthen the fashion industry by economically empowering all players through provision of affordable financial and non-financial services tailor made to suit their needs.

Dr. James Mwangi, CEO, Equity Bank said, “The bank is keen on bridging the gap that will connect these entrepreneurs and build structures that will enable them to compete favourably at a global level by nurturing business growth through financial/entrepreneurship training, working capital and exposure.”

The announcement was made at the release of a Kenyan Textile and Fashion Industry Report commissioned by Hivos East Africa, in collaboration with the Association of Fashion Designers (AFAD).

The report titled, The Kenyan Textile and Fashion Industry: The Role of Fashion Designers and Small Tailors in the Fibre to Fashion Value Chain, highlights the state of the country's fashion industry and recommends sustainable ways for integrating local fashion designers into the clothing and fashion value chain for maximum benefit.

Mendi Njonjo, Regional Director, Hivos East Africa said Kenya's fashion industry has the potential to create 300, 000 jobs for women and youth but it remains largely untapped.

“Besides employment and empowerment, the Textile and Cotton industry offers the possibility of renewable energy powered businesses and green jobs which is a big step towards sustainable development,'' she said.

In conjunction with AFAD, the designers will be provided with networking programme trainings and platforms to market their designs. The established fashion designers will be instrumental in nurturing the young talent on what is required to make it in the industry.

According to the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), Kenya's local fashion design and apparel retail market has an estimated annual value of more than $330 million.

Financial institutions have been cited as some of the key players that can unlock its full potential of the sector in regards to creating jobs, generating incomes, strengthening trade, accelerating technology adoption, attracting investment, and promoting local women and youth entrepreneurs. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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