By Azael Masese
Suba Teachers Savings and Credit Co-operative Society has rebranded to Fortitude Sacco, in a move aimed at improving its critical market segments.
Chief Executive Officer Mr Odhiambo Muganda said opening the common bond followed complaints from the public that the previous operations had locked them from accessing their financial services.
“Our key membership has been drawn from the teachers, but we have now opened our doors to the general public in an attempt to improve financial inclusion in the region,” he explained.
With a current membership of 1,000, the society aims to increase its membership to over 5,000 in the next five years.
“We will conduct an aggressive marketing campaign to recruit about 1,000 every year so that they access our services,” he told Sacco Review.
He stated that majority of the population in Mbita Sub County live in rural areas hence find it difficult to access financial services from banks located in town.
“We have a mobile banking application that would allow our members transact their businesses and consequently play a critical role in their financial inclusion,” he noted.
One of the immediate targets is the fishermen who ply their trade in Lake Victoria and are able to make a tidy daily sum.
However, the greatest impediment, which has seen a number of them forget about frugal spending, is lack of saving culture, which the society seeks to inculcate. At a time when the Government has warned societies from opening the common bond, due to the high loan defaulting, he said that they have put in place strategies to ensure they are able to surmount any challenges in their way.
“Besides having guarantors as collateral, we have in place a debt collector to compel members honour their repayments,” he stated, adding that they will also join a Credit Reference Bureau from July to further tighten the noose on bad loans. Rebranding, he noted, captures three aspects of the society and this includes the name, logo and introducing new products into the market.
Besides changing the name, our logo is now simple and appeals to the common public,” he noted.
With a monthly contribution of Sh1,500 Mr Muganda remained optimistic their new strategy will work and boost its business volume.
“With increased membership, we project to improve on our share capital, deposits and loan uptake,” he stated.