By Erick Maranga
Ubunifu Sacco continues to assist youth to enhance savings and financial inclusion.The youthful Sacco Chairman Frank Odindo said young people are the future of the country making it essential to cultivate a savings culture among them.
This, he added, will increase financial inclusion and boost the sector’s deposits.
What started as a self help group where members would save and borrow some small amount of money for self development has now gradually grown into a big Sacco.
Ubunifu Sacco whose founders are freelance writers popularly referred to as online writers which comprise youthful members started three years ago where members would contribute and borrow money to buy laptops to enable them do online assignments. Odindo says the Sacco was formed to break the barriers posed by majority of money lenders.
“Ubunifu was formed in order to address the financial needs we were facing as a group. The founding members were all freelancers and we had difficulties accessing loans from banks because of the existing stringent requirements that mainly favoured individuals with payslips and other assets,” he told Sacco Review.
Odindo said the Sacco has opened a common bond and is now targeting all youth both in formal and informal employment to enable them save and borrow money.
He noted that the Sacco is now a game changer as it has debunked the notion of majority of Saccos as a preserve for older people something which has made majority of them not to subscribe to Sacco membershipS.
According to the statics available, very a few youth are Sacco members something which is really worrying about the Kenyan youth future financial security. Odindo said Ubunifu Sacco will try its level best and educate the youth on the importance of ambracing a saving culture.
“Savings is not a very attractive thing to do especially when in the freelance sector and you are young. But we believe that we need to undertake more member education on the importance of savings and having a longer term approach to growing savings for investment,” he said
Odindo said since the Sacco is youth owned and majority of the shareholders are less than 35 years, it serves their needs.
He admits that due to lack of jobs, entrepreneurship remains the solution to address high unemployment levels among the youth.
The Chairman added that the Sacco whose total assets has hit Sh15 million gives both short time and long term loans as from Sh30,000 to Sh1.5 million to enable the members address their financial challenges.
These loan packages are Teketeke, Jienjoy and instant (emergency) loans which ranges between Sh1,000 to Sh50,000 which are processed instantly.
Odindo expressed optimism in the Sacco sector and said he and his fellow youth are ready to take the mantle from the old guards and streamline the sector.
According to the latest survey in Kenya unemployment rate stands at 39 per cent where 99 per cent are the youth .
In an interview with Sacco Review majority of the youth admitted that they are willing start their own business but lack of capital has remained the big challenge for them.