In a packed alley that running parallel with Nakuru’s High Street you will find an army of young entrepreneurs. You can find shoes, photocopiers, second hand clothes, tailors and fruit salad sellers in this tightly packed row. Small talk of the English Premier League can be heard, with the different sellers challenging one and other about their favourite team. All of the members in Kenyatta Line are members of the Best Run Youth Society in Kenya, Hope and Vision Youth Sacco, Balloon Kenya’s partner.
The six founding members were all refused loans and in 2003 decided to start a co-operative, with each of the founders contributing 1,000 KSH (£7.50) a month to their fund. As the number of members increased, as did the funding pot, with loans given on trust and character.
Now in 2013 the group has over 140 members from across Nakuru from varying diciplines. With a repayment rate of 97% the Sacco has proved to be a great success.
Mostly aged between 20 and 30 the members pay a 2,600 KSH (£19.50) joining fee and follow this up with a 1,500 KSH contribution per month to the Hope and Vision Pot. They offer 10 different loan products and are currently looking into home and health insurance packages for their members. Members are charged much lower interest rates than those offered by banks and micro-financing companies.
Balloon Kenya joined forces with Hope and Vision in 2011. Hope and Vision vet the groups before the fellows arrive and provide ongoing support after the Balloon Kenya team has departed.
The community spirit from the group is evident, with members watching each others stalls whilst they attend our training sessions and long may this continue.