Stories tagged with Small and Micro-Enterprise Programme (SMEP)

Sep 9, 2012 KE Kenya

One of the most effective ways of improving Kiva’s relationship with its partners is travelling to the branches and providing Kiva Training.  Kiva training involves a refresher for the Credit Officers – the ones who make microfinance really work on the ground – about what Kiva is, how it works, why it’s important, what they need to do for a Kiva loan and finally – taking GREAT photos!

Now, I’m not a natural photographer, but as you can see from some...

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Jun 6, 2012 KE Kenya

It is estimated that,

  • 200 million work hours a day are wasted collecting water
  • 11% more girls attend school when sanitation is available
  • 1 child dies every 20 seconds from water-related disease – 2 years ago, a child died every 15 seconds
  • 443 million school days are lost each year due to water-related illness[1]

Women bear the responsibility of water collection in the vast majority (>75%) of households worldwide and here in Kenya that number is even greater.  Water is a basic right in the developed world and a danger and...

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Oct 10, 2011 KE Kenya

By Claire Markham, KF16, Kenya

In the developed world, the recent increased attention to global warming and the importance of environmental preservation and restoration efforts is something that’s hard to ignore.  It’s because of this ongoing Environmental Revolution that the majority of the population is aware of the increasing need to pay attention to our footprint. Regardless of whether or not people actually do their part or even believe in global warming, most people have at least been educated of the potential consequences of neglecting the environment and the harm we...

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Sep 9, 2011 KE Kenya

By Claire Markham, KF16, Kenya

Before I arrived in Nairobi, I had heard on multiple occasions about the fundamental role loan officers play in making an MFI function. Loan officers are the backbone of the organization; they are intimately familiar with their clients and the challenges they face and they go to extraordinary measures to meet client needs. I was able to fully appreciate this on my recent borrower visits in Mombasa with two of SMEP Deposit Taking Microfinance Limited’s loan officers: the one who supposedly travels the most, and the one who supposedly travels...

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Sep 9, 2011 KE Kenya

By Claire Markham, KF16, Kenya

On Kiva’s website, the description of why Kiva does what it does is as follows:

We envision a world where all people – even in the most remote areas of the globe – hold the power to create opportunity for themselves and others.

We believe providing safe, affordable access to capital to those in need helps people create better lives for themselves and their families.

Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to spend a day with a loan officer with SMEP’s Nairobi Central branch, and we traveled to...

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Jul 7, 2010 KE 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...

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Jun 6, 2010 KE Kenya

By Steve Grey, KF11, Kenya

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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...

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May 5, 2010 KE Kenya

By Steve Grey, KF11, Kenya

I got to see a fascinating situation last week in Nairobi when I was with Caroline, a local Credit Officer from SMEP (one of Kiva’s lending partners in Kenya).  It was a classic microfinance scenario: What happens when a member of a borrower group doesn’t pay?  But it wasn’t theoretical anymore… it was happening right in front of me.

As you probably know, many microfinance institutions (like SMEP) sign up individual borrowers as members of groups, often 10-20 people.  Rather than providing collateral for their individual...

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Mar 3, 2010 KE Kenya

Seventeen young, scared faces sit around the board room for the full-day training of new marketers. I had been present the day that this new crop of SMEP employees was being interviewed. They had assembled en masse at our head office; many of them looking like the suit they were wearing had been hastily purchased at one of the local secondhand markets in anticipation of their first job interview.  In fact, they were what I refer to as “babies” the young-ish, newly graduated staffers whose faces more often look up at me when I am conducting trainings at the SMEP branch offices all over...

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Mar 3, 2010 KE Kenya

This is a blog that I’ve written in a hurry so as not to let the words swirling in my head escape my fingers on the page. In my tenure at SMEP, I’ve never attended the weekly devotional, held every Monday morning from 8-10 in the morning. I always thought of myself as a secularist, and I assumed that attending would make me uncomfortable – after all, I come from a place where there is separation of church and everything. I’ve grown up in the deeply religious “bible belt” of the Southern United States, and I just assumed that at SMEP, the devotional...

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