High uptake of Hustler Fund loans a threat to Saccos, banks


The enthusiasm by small rural based enterprises in Embu County  in embracing the group based Hustlers’ Fund loans is bound to give stiff competition to Saccos and banks for customers, former Commissioner of Cooperatives Geoffrey Njang’ombe has warned.

The launch of the second phase of the Hustler Fund will see registered groups qualified for loans between Ksh200, 000 and Ksh1million

Njang’ombe warned that the move by Saccos to rebrand to attract customers and to open their common bonds is deemed too sophisticated in the eyes of observers and ordinary prospective savers.

A spot check by Sacco Review in Embu County reveals that most Sacco members feel the present image of most Saccos is quite sophisticated for ordinary prospective members.

“As a result of the changes, ordinary customers feel out of place in these Saccos,” the members noted.

Njang’ombe urged Saccos to simplify their marketing campaigns and stressed on the need for customer friendly Saccos where few high sounding financial terminologies and fancy accounts are not a norm.

In past interviews with Sacco Review, Njang’ombe implored successful Saccos to venture strongly into the rural trading centers to reach out ordinary Kenyans.

He argued that ordinary artisans, traders and farmers who mobilize resources through savings under women and youth groups should never be ignored by the big Saccos.

The former commissioner noted that as a result of the prospective high intake of the Hustlers Fund loans, small rural based enterprises were bound to expand into Saccos and attract sizeable finances from within their areas of operation.

In other news, Cooperatives & MSMEs Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui commended Embu county residents for leading in Hustler Fund loan repayment. The county’s repayment ratio stands at 67 percent against the national rate of 63 per cent.

Chelugui said more than 250,000 people from the county had repaid Ksh500 million and were now qualified for higher borrowing.

He expressed hope that eventually, Kenyans will elevate their chamas to Sacco and gain independence in managing their finances at a time when Saccos are becoming national entities.

By Robert Nyagah

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