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 introduced me to their neighbors. As many other Kiva Fellows attest, these field visits to meet clients have been the best part of my experience and oftentimes also present the greatest challenge to figure out how to pass on this information to the Kiva community without losing much of the vibrancy.
A month ago, I started to ask the same set of questions to 40 clients from the past three locations that I traveled to: Kabarnet, Kangemi, and Eldoret. I consolidated the information that I collected and found an interesting macro-perspective on who KADET borrowers are. Just to make it clear, the data that I’m putting forth below is merely a snapshot of KADET’s entrepreneurs. KADET has 11 branches and I was only able to capture 3 of them. If I had more time, I’d certainly be interested to get a sample of all of the KADET branches to get a much more focused snapshot.
And how do the locations affect the responses of the questions that I asked? Kabarnet is a small rural town in Western Kenya situated in the mountains where there’s little formal infrastructure of power or piping so all of the KADET farmers there have water access only by walking to the river. Kangemi is an urban suburb just on the northern outskirts of Nairobi and by far one of the more urban areas of Kenya, where most of the KADET clients are small business owners or operators. Eldoret is a town in the agricultural heartlands of Western Kenya where a mix of KADET clients are farmers outside of town or small business owners in town.
- Age: 41
- Years of schooling: 8.8 years
- Had knowledge of more than one bank or MFI before applying for a loan: 30%
- Average income per day: 1,829 Ksh ($22.86)
- Average income per day before loan: 1,005 ($12.56)
- Children enrolled in elementary school: 100%
- Children enrolled in secondary school: 88%
- Supporting more than 6 dependents on their income: 35%
- Supporting a terminally ill dependent: 30%
- Have had a recent death in the household: 47%
- Clean water access: 63%
- Using charcoal, firewood, kerosene for power: 82%
- Pit latrines: 100%
- Electricity in home: 30%
- Gender: 70% female (received from KADET full client database, not from my sample)
Below are responses from an entrepreneur at each of the 3 locations.