Kenya: Kenyan Women’s Finance Trust

Introduction

The goal of the Kenyan Women’s Finance Trust (KWFT) programme is to promote the access of economically active low-income women to sustainable financial and non-financial services to enable them to improve the economic and social status of their households.

Achievements

Since 2004, KWFT has grown into one of the biggest NGO-based microfinance operators in Africa. In Kenya, it is by far the largest microfinance institution ( MFI). Its membership today exceeds US$220,000, representing a growth of 173 per cent over the programme period and exceeding the target by 138,000 members. The outstanding portfolio has increased by 297 per cent to just over US$79 million, which is nearly four times the target of US$20 million. Client savings collected through the commercial banks have also increased by 284 per cent to more than US$29 million.

Future

Looking ahead, KWFT plans to expand into two new regions in the coming years. It aims to reach about 1,464,000 members by 2012, with an outstanding portfolio expanding to about US$331,635,000 from the current U$79,454,000. This would require a growth in the number of KWFT staff from the current level of 916 to about 2,400.

KWFT is also transforming itself into a deposit-taking financial institution, offering projected client savings accounts of up to US$264,019,000 by 2012, thereby reducing the overheads created by using other commercial banks and passing on the savings to the beneficiaries in the form of cheaper loans.

Project objectives

  • To improve the access of poor Kenyan women to financial services by increasing KWFT outreach
  • To increase the efficiency of KWFT field services and provide the target group with more appropriate products
  • To launch a  full savings scheme for clients
  • To enhance the operational and financial sustainability of the KWFT operation
  • To improve control and management systems continuously to cater for the requirements of a rapidly growing and decentralized institution

 

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