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New approaches to SME and entrepreneurship financing

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Lending to Kenyan SMEs continues to be a challenge due to various factors. One of the main challenges is the lack of collateral or credit history among many SMEs, making it difficult for lenders to assess the creditworthiness of these businesses.

Additionally, high interest rates and stringent lending requirements by financial institutions also pose barriers for SMEs seeking financing.

But emergence and the growing number of Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOs) in the country is believed to be playing an important role in this transition – financial inclusion.

More Saccos and related financial institutions have emerged as powerful catalysts for change, empowering individuals and SMEs alike to take control of their financial destinies, using new approaches like share capital to boost financial liquidity and advance more loans SMEs.

Last week Harambee Sacco announced the launch of a share-capital drive aimed at increasing the capital base of the organization.

The share-capital drive which seeks to raise Sh4billion, is part of the Sacco’s strategic plan to strengthen its financial position and improve its capacity to provide better services to its members.

The funds raised through the share-capital drive will be used to expand the Sacco’s lending activities, improve its member services, and invest in new technologies to enhance its operations.

The management of Harambee Sacco is optimistic that the share-capital drive will be successful, and they are calling on all members to participate and contribute to the growth and development of the organization.

They believe that by increasing its capital base, Harambee Sacco will be able to better meet the financial needs of its members and continue to thrive in the competitive financial services industry.

Share capital is a product that lets the members have equity of ownership of a SACCO and members earn dividends on the same annually.

Members are being encouraged to purchase additional shares in the Sacco to boost its capital reserves and enable it to offer more competitive products and services. The share capital drive is also aimed at attracting new members to join the Sacco and benefit from its financial solutions.

Harambee Sacco has a long history of providing financial services to its members, with a focus on promoting financial inclusion and empowerment. The Sacco offers a range of products and services, including savings, loans, insurance, and investment opportunities.

By launching this share-capital drive, Harambee Sacco is demonstrating its commitment to improving its financial stability and resilience, and ensuring the long-term success of the organization. Members are being urged to take advantage of this opportunity to invest in the Sacco and support its growth and development.

The capital share drive involves members buying into the Sacco’s shares, with a guaranteed return of 15 per cent for the next five years.

Speaking during the rollout event, Cabinet Secretary for Cooperatives and Micro and Small Enterprise, Simon Chelugui alluded the Sacco’s move, commenting that the drive will not only enhance and strengthen financial foundation, but also increase its institutional capacity.

“I am encouraging Corporative leaders to embrace cutting age emerging technology, innovations and adopt appropriate strategies that will provide solutions to meet members’ needs and offer competitively-driven services. I am confident that with your support and dedication, Harambee Sacco will continue to drive and serve as a beacon of hope and opportunity for all, said CS Chelugui.

According to the CS, the share drive will help the Sacco to attain a solid share base that will enable them to stop relying on external borrowing which are a drain the Sacco’s revenue.

“It is our expectation that all the 40 million shares being put on offer during this campaign period would be oversubscribed and that the society would be at set on a new financial performance trajectory in line with our 2024 annual theme the turning point”, said Harambee Sacco chairman, Macdonald Malonza.

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