Sidian Bank and FMO sign a Ksh.1.7 billion facility for MSMEs financing in Kenya

Dutch entrepreneurial development bank FMO and Sidian Bank have signed a Ksh.1.7 billion NASIRA loan portfolio guarantee to provide financing for MSMEs affected by the COVID-19 crisis in Kenya.

A minimum of 30 percent of the total guarantee facility will be allocated specifically to young and female entrepreneurs. The guarantee will be provided in Kenyan Shilling equivalent.

”We are happy to see FMO and Sidian Bank benefitting from the policies of the European Union, strengthening the MSME’s in Kenya, with a focus on young and female entrepreneurs. We expect to see MSME’s thrive through the improved access to financial products and services. This is not only mitigating market uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic, but also, knowing that FMO and Sidian will promote the transfer of knowledge and skills, is having a positive social and environmental impact.” Henriette Geiger, EU ambassador to Kenya said.

The NASIRA program is a risk sharing facility for local financial institutions, supported by the European Union and MASSIF, the financial inclusion fund FMO manages on behalf of the Dutch government. It is a new way of unlocking support to underserved segments: youth, migrant, women and COVID-19 affected entrepreneurs.

”Sidian Bank is excited to partner with FMO on this NASIRA program, by allowing customers who have a shortfall on security required for credit facilities to access much needed credit. This guarantee facility and technical assistance program will enable the bank to support our clients, in particular, young and female business owners to meet their growth potential. FMO has made a positive impact through their investment programs globally, and we are privileged to have their support.” Chege Thumbi, CEO of Sidian Bank said.

NASIRA target groups often remain underbanked due to high risks – both perceived and real – involved in lending to them. This is, amongst others, due to absence of collateral and credit history. The guarantee program takes away this hurdle, by agreeing in advance to share possible credit losses. A technical assistance program will be offered alongside the guarantee to support Sidian Bank in building staff capacities and developing financial and non-financial service for the NASIRA target groups in particular those active in the agricultural sector.

Huib-Jan de Ruijter, Chief Investment Officer at FMO said, ”We see a true focus in Sidian Bank on the lower SME segment, serving these small entrepreneurs with an increasing bank product offering tailored to meet MSME’s needs. We are very happy we can support Sidian Bank in developing this segment within the bank even further with the Nasira Guarantee.”

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Reginah Wamboi

Reginah is a seasoned Kenyan journalist with a keen interest in business and African startups. Send tips to or

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