Written by Anne-Marie Robles, Review and Translations Program Intern
Silole Sanamwala, a wheat farmer in Narok, Kenya, with her children Ruth and Alex.
Kiva Field Partner since: May 2009
Loans through Kiva: $1,651,775
Number of entrepreneurs assisted through Kiva: 3,373
Focus: Micro and small business loan products for rural entrepreneurs
Kenya Agency for Development of Enterprise and Technology (KADET) was started in 2000 by World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and impoverished communities worldwide. World Vision began working in Kenya in 1973. By the early 1980s their programs included agriculture, nutrition, education, water projects, medicine and flood relief. World Vision’s goal is to deliver access to financial services and economic development throughout Kenya, particularly the rural areas where half of the country’s population resides.
KADET has 11 branches and 39 offices in Kenya and their clients’ economic activity varies across the country’s regions. In Narok and El Doret (in the South and North Rift Valley), wheat and corn farming is very common. In urban areas like Nairobi and Mombasa services and retail, such as barber shops, kiosks, and market stalls, are major business types. In the Central region and Naivasha most clients are farmers, raising rabbits or running greenhouses while in Kisumu in the Western part of Kenya fishing is the dominant industry and many clients are fishermen or work in supporting industries like restaurants, transportation, and selling fishing equipment.
Lilian Syonzia, a vegetable seller in Matuu, Kenya, with her daughter Ruth.
“Big house” group lending
Loan recipients of KADET are divided into groups. A large group of 15-30 independent entrepreneurs, known as the Jumba or “a big house” in Swahili, is formed. The large group is also subdivided into three to six groups of five entrepreneurs, referred to as the Nyumba meaning “a room in a house”. The Nyumba is the first guarantor of the loan and they exert pressure on the other members to pay. All members are also required to save 20% of the amount of the loan in a loan security fund. KADET facilitates the formation of groups by holding community meetings and marketing events. Group leaders go through training on group management before their loans are disbursed and KADET offers trainings once per year per branch to group leaders.
A spiritual influence
While they are open about being Christian, KADET’s lending methodology is not directly affected by their religious affiliation. Roughly 75% of Kenyans identify as Christian so it is not unusual for groups to start and end their loan meetings with a prayer, but that is for the group to decide. KADET does limit their lending to exclude businesses that are perceived to have a negative social impact, like bars.
Margaret Kisato with her kale in Vihiga, Kenya.
World Vision in Kenya
KADET believes that helping clients in rural areas has a stronger effect on communities – helping an entrepreneur access capital in a rural area keeps that person from moving to a city, where there may not be a job anyway, and also employs others in the community. Currently, agricultural loans make up 30% of KADET’s lending portfolio.
To lend to a KADET borrower like Silole, visit their lender page!
Photo provided by Tara Capsuto, Kiva Roaming Fellow KF13, Kenya