Mary Akinyi, the CEO of Mumias Progressive SACCO, exudes confidence and authority when she talks about her experience with Kwara. In the tight-knit, community-driven world of Savings and Credit Cooperative Organizations (SACCOs) in Kenya, Mary’s leadership stands as a testament to innovation, adaptation, and resilience.
The Search for Solutions
“We didn’t want IRNET because there was bad feedback from other clients,” Mary candidly reveals during a Kwara interview. After witnessing a live demonstration of Kwara, her decision was sealed. “We saw a group meeting with a Kwara demo and knew that that was what we needed,” she adds.
Overcoming Reporting Nightmares
Prior to Kwara, Mumias Progressive SACCO had challenges with financial reporting, especially towards the end of the month. “End of each month, we couldn’t generate reports,” she laments. But with Kwara, the SACCO has entered a new era of efficiency. “We can log in and generate it immediately. You don’t need to calculate anything; Kwara calculates it for you.”
Building Resilience Through Flexibility
The pandemic posed a significant challenge for the SACCO. Traditional meetings ceased, affecting member engagement and payments. “When we came back in 2021, people thought our SACCO had died, so they didn’t come to our SACCO anymore,” Mary shares.
But Kwara changed the game. With the platform at their fingertips, members could manage their accounts from home. “If you tell your neighbour you can access your SACCO from your home, they can easily join,” Mary highlights. She also notes that Kwara’s mobile loan feature positions them to compete with other fintech platforms like Tala and Mshwari.
We can log in and generate it immediately. You don’t need to calculate anything; Kwara calculates it for you.Mary Akinyi, CEO Mumias Progressive SACCO
Guarantorship: A Pleasant Surprise
“Guarantorship has been the greatest decision,” Mary shares, emphasizing the efficiency of Kwara’s system. “Imagine someone going to their uncle for guaranteeing 10K, then their mother 4K, their aunty 2K, and then hear they didn’t qualify.” Kwara eliminated this tedious process, making eligibility instantaneous and transparent. “The eligibility of the instant loan is immediate, it is instant!”
Mary sees Kwara as a game-changer for SACCOs in Kenya. “If there’s anything that can solve something in the market, it’s Kwara,” she says, encouraging other organizations to embrace the platform. Her recommendation for Kwara is ambitious: “They need to bring in Stima SACCO. Convince them, show them what is being done here. Then we can move together as a big team.”