Feb 5, 2012

Loan Repayment Made Easier For Kenyan Women Entrepreneurs

Women Enterprise Fund has partnered with Safaricom Limited to provide easier, faster, efficient and secure loan repayment method through the use of M-PESA.

The Fund is the only institution in Kenya that gives its financial services to women in all the 210 constituencies through the CWES Channel.  Since it’s establishment, women have been making payments to a collection account in Kenya Commercial Bank which has the widest branch network in Kenya.  However, the bank is only located in the major towns. And for a majority of WEF customers, taking a trip to the bank to make loan payment can take one or even two days.

According to WEF’s Regional Credit Coordinator for North Eastern Region Mr. Muteti, “Our volunteer who is based in Rhamu in Mandera Central would spend Kshs.1,200 to and from Mandera Town, more than 100KMs away on lorries that ferry animals between these towns, not to mention that he would have to spend the night in a lodging in town, of course at an additional cost.”   In another case, the District Gender and Social Development Officer based in Elwak Town, would travel to Mandera Town, more than 200KMs at a total cost of Kshs.1,600 on behalf of our women beneficiaries,” “In both instances,” Says the Co-ordinator “our beneficiaries would give their money to our volunteer or the DGSDO to bank to our collection account in KCB since they were not in a position to make these trips, because, first it was too costly and would eat up any profits made, secondly, they have to spend the night out due to the unreliable transport this would mean a night out which requires permission from their spouses, and thirdly being mothers, they naturally have a lot of responsibility in their households.”

He goes on to add that, “with this MPESA payment system, all the women have to do is be guided only once by the volunteer and the DGSDO and subsequent payments will be made with no hustles”.  Our beneficiaries had for a long time been requesting us to adopt this technology, for most of them the nearest major town could be between 30 and 300 kms away from their homes.