In the first weeks as a Kiva Fellow with KADET, I learned that the Kenyan microfinance organization focused on serving rural small entrepreneurs, both men and women. But it wasn’t until I got into the field and met the clients that I began to have a richer understanding of the entrepreneurs that KADET was serving. The clients were infallibly gracious in their welcome, and shared details of their businesses, their family life, and invited me into their homes and...
Stories tagged with Kenya
By Steve Grey, KF11, Kenya
I recently attended a 4-hour training session for new clients of SMEP, one of Kiva’s lending partners in Kenya. SMEP did a great job helping these new borrowers understand how the microfinance lending process works and what their responsibilities are as members of 15-person borrower groups.
But it was one of the meeting management techniques that intrigued me. At the beginning of the 4-hour session (with no break!), the leader asked the 100+ attendees to come up with rules for the...Continue Reading >>
Jenny Jin, KF11
This past weekend I had the opportunity to check out one of KADET’s new loan products: solar loans!
A backstory of how solar is coming on strong in Kenya
Many of KADET’s borrowers live in off-grid rural areas without access to electricity or gas. Charcoal and kerosene are still the most common form of power for average Kenyans to power their homes and businesses. Indeed, a number of KADET borrowers that I’ve met have small businesses of selling charcoal.
In recent years, several...Continue Reading >>
By Robert Karanja
KF 11, Kenya
In the last two years, the development of mobile money transfers has grown by leaps and bounds in Kenya and today almost every major bank has developed a mobile money product or is in the process of launching one. This represents the next frontier in the provision of banking services to a population that was previously completely left out of the banking system. Dare I say it, Kenya leads the world in mobile banking innovation. Here is why…..
Safaricom the country’s largest mobile service provider with over 15 million...Continue Reading >>
Dorice is the newest Kiva assistant coordinator for KADET, the Kenyan microfinance partner that I’ve been working with through my Kiva Fellowship. Dorice is new to KADET’s Kiva Operations team but she’s been with KADET for years, and has been a real source of inspiration and fun for the staff and past Kiva Fellows with her passion to help others and her social personality. A week ago, I asked Dorice whether she’d be interested to introduce herself to the Kiva community on the blog, and she wrote a...
By Steve Grey, KF11, Kenya'
In this 3.5 minute video, see what it’s like to spend the day with a loan officer from one of Kiva’s lending partners. Hanifa Seme (Credit Officer with Small and Micro Enterprise Programme in Kenya) and Steve Grey (Kiva Fellow) walk “The Pipeline”, a densely populated urban area in Kitengela just outside Nairobi, Kenya. They meet with 9 potential...Continue Reading >>
by Robert Karanja, KF 11, Kenya
Joe Biden, US Vice President visited Kenya in early June 2010. This visit holds lots of weight for the people of Kenya as Mr. Biden is the 2nd highest ranking US Government official after our favourite son – President Barack Obama.
Mr. Biden’s message was very clear as an emissary of President Obama. Reforms are ongoing in Kenya and the fact that a referendum to adopt a new constitution is right round the corner – August 4 says lots about the visit to Kenya.
In any event, Kenya remains a very strategic...Continue Reading >>
Jenny Jin, KF11- Kenya
It’s an exciting time to be in Nairobi, Kenya right now – especially for anyone who’s interested in development. This city is filled with passionate locals and expats who are working on social enterprises, green companies, and tech startups of all different perspectives and approaches to tackle big challenges. I arrived in Nairobi six weeks ago after living in Silicon Valley for the past three years, and I found a city even more energetic about innovation than where I had come from.... Continue Reading >>
By Jeremy Gordon, KF11, Kenya
“People like us can’t get a loan. You have to be a member of a group with an influential person in it—we don’t know anyone like that.”
The second day I passed him on my way to work, a man on a bright red and chrome boda boda (motorbike) befriended me. Rama is not a Kiva entrepreneur, and though he has been in this business for just over a year and a half, he rents his bike daily. He’ll spend the full retail price of a new motorbike every year in rental fees.
Before I left Mombasa, I asked Rama if...Continue Reading >>
By Steve Grey, KF11, Kenya
“One of the borrowers on this list, Helida, passed away last month.”
Those words hit me like a punch in the stomach. I was in Kisumu on the shores of Lake Victoria to work with Kisumu Medical & Education Trust (K-MET), one of Kiva’s lending partners in Kenya. K-MET is different than most microfinance institutions. Started in 1996, its mission is to provide quality reproductive health services to the poor through a network of over 450 volunteer community-based health workers. Since the health workers are volunteers, and often poor...Continue Reading >>