Kenya Women Finance Trust's mission is to advance and promote the direct access of economically active women entrepreneurs to sustainable financial and non-financial services in order to enable them to improve their economic, social and political status and that of their families.
Kenya Women Finance Trust offers group loans using two main approaches:
- One is based on four groups of five women (a watano) coming together to form a kiwa.
- The second is based on pre-existing groups of up to 30 women.
In both loan schemes, women are required to save as a requirement for accessing credit. Loans are disbursed to individual members directly, with repayment and collections being the primary responsibility of the group. The majority of KWFT's loans are business loans. A small percentage is given for education and healthcare. Village banking scheme since 1999.
In 2002, KWFT began a pilot individual lending project.
KWFT provides financial and non-financial services to low-income women entrepreneurs. In 2008, they provided financial services for over 208,000 women in Kenya.
On December 31st, 2004, KWFT had over 2 billion KSH (US$ 27,037,256) in assets, over 1 billion KSH (US$ 13,518,628) in loans, and over 100,000 clients. KWFT helps the women that it serves by providing them a means to be independent and self-sufficient while also raising a family. Women who borrow money from KWFT are given confirmation of their dignity, which allows them to rebuild their lives. They use the money to support their businesses, to send their children to school, and to pay for emergency bills. This helps not only the individual woman borrower, but also her entire family.
As a former teacher, Judith Wanjiru Karongo dreamed of owning her own school and creating a legacy in her town. With financial support from KWFT, Karongo has successfully achieved her dream, transforming her family’s living room into Magnet High School, now educating 430 boys and girls from the area. The school is not only helping to secure a vibrant future for its students, but it helps to sustain the employment of individuals in the present. Full Story