A total of 8.4 million Kenyans have applied for the hustler fund loan only 4 days after it was launched by President William Ruto.
According to Cooperatives and SMEs Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui, Ksh 2.9 billion had been disbursed by midday Sunday.
This is even as Kenyans elicit mixed reactions on the hustler fund with the majority calling on the government to raise their loan limits and extend the 2 weeks repayment period to enable them to lift their economic status.
President Ruto launched the fund on Wednesday in an effort to provide State-backed concessional loans to small businesses that have struggled to access financing from mainstream banks.
The repayment period has been capped at 14 days and borrowers will access the loans at 8 per cent annually.
At 8 per cent interest per annum, a borrower tapping a Ksh 500 loan will repay Ksh 501.53 after 14 days, representing Ksh 1.53 in interest.
The interest is lower than the latest average bank borrowing cost of 12.38 per cent and annualised M-Shwari charges of 108 per cent.
There are four categories of loans under the facility which include personal finance, microloan, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups.
To be eligible as an individual, one must be at least 18 years old, have a national identity card and a registered SIM card and mobile money account with Safaricom, Airtel or Telkom.
Further, their lines must have been in use for at least 90 days.