Brief background of the Hustler Fund

The Kenya Kwanza Government campaigned on the platform of Bottom-up Economics, with a view to not only improve the livelihood of millions of Kenya but also to grow the Kenyan Economy. Bottom-up Economics is about investing the limited capital available where it will create the most jobs at the bottom of the pyramid and in the process spur Economic Growth in our country.

Kenyans at the bottom of the pyramid are commonly referred to as people working in the informal sector, with not too much attention being paid to the sector to formalize it. The popular view of the informal sector activities is that they are primarily those of petty traders, street hawkers, shoeshine boys and other groups ‘underemployed’ on the streets of the big towns. The evidence suggests that the bulk of employment in the informal sector, far from being only marginally productive, is economically efficient and profit-making, though small in scale and limited by simple technologies, lack of capital, basic bookkeeping and lack of links with other (‘formal’) sectors.

Many studies have proposed for the informal sector to be supported with not much being done to improve the situation. The Hustler Fund was created to offer seed capital to members of the informal sector in our community. This is to be coupled with a number of initiatives aimed at growing these businesses into formal Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. These will involve: –

 (a) A major behavior communications campaign to shift the mindset of the Kenyan Youth from white-collar or blue-collar formal employment to informal sector small Business Ownership and the Agriculture Value Chain 

(b) Capacity Building in the areas of Entrepreneurship, Business Registration, Basic Book Keeping, Group Dynamics and the power of Savings for Capital Formation, Economic Shocks and retirement.

(c) Formation and Registration of Small Groups into Community Based Organizations or Chamas with a view to evolving them into Savings and Credit Societies (SACCOS)

(d) Capacity Building in the area of Aggregation and Cooperatives for better competitiveness and better access to the market

(e) Commitment to end exclusion and criminalization of livelihoods, and level the playing field for all investors big and small.

(f) Reforming the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and National Social Security Fund (NSSF) to level the playing field among all Kenyans in terms of health and old age security.

(g) Making Kenya not just a middle income country in terms of GDP averages, but a middle class society in the sense of the word. 

It is this shift in policy and pragmatism that informs the Kenya Kwanza Administration’s commitment to invest Kenya Shillings 500 Billion over the next five years in smallholder Agriculture and Business Ownership in the Informal Sector.   It is incumbent upon all Kenyans of goodwill to support this noble cause. The Bottom-Up Economics model will culminate in formalization of small businesses and hence elevate the unbanked members of our society to bankable status with better chances of access to cheaper capital.