SMEP a local OIKO-Credit partner is offering Loans and Training to Community Currency users in Kangemi and Kawangware. They have started with a group of women centered around the headmistress Veronica of Love School in the Congo Area of Kawangware, Nairobi. These women run a soap business called the Love Soap group which consists of 15 women. They are being trained and guided by Audrey from SMEP, on how to apply for loans to expand their business. The entire network using Community Currency is keen on following suit with their own businesses.
Yesterday there were about 30 members from two different community currency trading groups (Gatina-Pesa and Kangemi-Pesa) present at the 1st major Loan financing meeting. The meeting generally went very well. Audrey, from SMEP, explained how the group loans work and members got to ask questions concerning the payback period as well as interest rates. Audrey took contacts of the already registered Groups/Chamas within the networks and shall be contacting them soon; an action that has made the rest of the business members want to get into groups as well - a good challenge.
The kind of package SMEP is offering is indeed a group loan but being issued to an individual. The group therefore acts as a guarantor/backer for the loan. SMEP also has packages that issue loans to entire groups rather than individuals but these are usually bigger loans meant for larger projects such as purchasing land and buildings.
In other news - Francis Wanjala reports: the Gatina Business Organization (GBO) has issued loans to 5 members using Community Currency (Gatina-Pesa) of roughly 30k. In their previous meeting the members started paying back the loans and the GBO has so far received Ksh.9500 in repayment, which is quite exciting. These members reported that the money has helped to boost stock.