Persons with Disabilities in Nakuru County are set to benefit from Caritas Microfinance Bank (Caritas MFB) which launched its 8th branch in the county.
Caritas Microfinance aims at offering financial support to individuals requiring capital to run a business, but unable to get from banks.
Other groups targeted include; church-based groups, farmers, self-help groups, agribusinesses, individuals, and disadvantaged groups, including slum dwellers, single mothers, youth, and women groups.
The microfinance institution said its entry into Nakuru would continue lending to businesses mainstream banks consider risky and thus deny credit.
Caritas Microfinance Bank Chief Executive Officer Mr. David Mukaru noted that Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are the drivers of Kenya’s economy, yet they have been starved of credit in the country.
The Microfinance Bank, whose key shareholders are various institutions in the Catholic Church, was granted a nationwide license by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) in June 2015 becoming the twelfth microfinance bank in Kenya.
Mr. Mukaru indicated that the financial institution’s entry into Nakuru considered the reality that the county has been established as a sustainable and vibrant business destination.
He was speaking after Deputy Governor Mr. David Kones officially inaugurated the branch. The occasion was also graced by Nakuru Catholic Diocese Bishop Reverend Cleophas Oseso and Caritas Microfinance Bank Chairman Mr. Patrick Kinyori.
The CEO disclosed that the bank’s main objective is to promote human development through the provision of affordable financial products.
“To have a national outreach, the MFB is adopting a social and competitive pricing approach and a two-pronged distribution strategy; branches and marketing offices.
“The MFB is also employing the wholistic approach towards improving its members’ economic and social status,” added Mr Mukaru.
He also noted that the passing of data protection regulations in the country would place confidence in clients since rogue players in the industry would be eliminated, as legitimate ones are left to deliver.
The financial institution noted that in Nakuru, which was ranked among the top five biggest contributors to Kenya’s GDP, there is a credit gap that needs to be filled.
“It pleases us to collaborate in this position by enabling emerging businesses and entrepreneurs to realize their aspirations and expand their possibilities through improved access to finances,” Mr. Mukaru stated.
The lender offers facilities such as insurance premium financing and a self-service revolving credit limit facility. Part of the institution’s strategy is supporting businesses that are yet to recover from the effects of Covid-19.
Mr. Kones observed that Small and Medium Enterprises in Kenya continue to face significant challenges in accessing credit. He added that financial institutions are often constrained by regulatory requirements and limited appetite for a segment that is perceived to be higher risk.
Bishop Oseso said the microlender will leverage the massive church membership network to drive growth besides roping in additional customers seeking affordable credit facilities.