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Co-operative Bank launches financial solutions for the micro, small & medium enterprises

By Sara Okuoro | August 25th 2018
By Sara Okuoro | August 25th 2018

Co-operative Bank of Kenya on Thursday launched a packaged financial solution for Micro, Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs), segmented in bronze, silver and gold respectively.

Over 90 per cent of the Kenyan private sector consists of MSMEs, offering employment to more 15 million people.

Co-op Bank, in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) over the past one year; expending resources, customer engagements and research work to understand the dynamics of the MSMEs business segment.

According to the World Bank, Kenya’s economy is estimated to grow by 5.5 per cent boosted by the manufacturing and tourism sectors in 2018.

The government is focused on cutting down spending, reducing borrowing, bringing down the fiscal deficit and raising revenues which will provide a conducive environment for the implementation of the Big Four Agenda of affordable housing, food security, manufacturing and universal health care.

Co-operative Bank has committed to align itself with the regulator’s requirement of ensuring that a minimum of 20 per cent of its lending goes to the MSME sector. Further to this, in support of the Government’s key agenda the Bank will closely support MSMEs who are key in realization of this critical agenda.

“The MSME customer of today is more exposed to emerging business trends that are both exciting and at the same time volatile; trends that are driven both by local as well as global dynamics. This customer therefore expects adaptive banking solutions. For us to remain relevant and meet the specific needs of this customer, we have had to re-engage, refresh and reposition our offering,” said Arthur Muchangi, Cooperative Bank Ag. Director Retail & Business Banking, during the launch event.

The MSME financial solutions will offer unsecured business loans, a first of its kind in Kenya, E-Credit through the MCo-op Cash App where businesses will be able to borrow up to Sh2 million via their phone, packaged insurance cover which are handpicked and specifically negotiated to suit various segments under MSME, revised and pre-approved limits on overdrafts and loans, diversified financial solutions to include Letters of Credit, guarantees, supply chain financing among others. The package will also include a range of non-financial services like training programs, tools to build & grow businesses and business exposure trips to emerging markets for the customers.

“We are confident of delivering on this promise to MSMEs as we now have the product, we have the people and most important we have the money. Earlier this year, our partnership with IFC enabled us to access a substantial Sh15.2 billion kitty for on-lending to Kenyan MSMEs,” added Arthur Muchangi.

The bank has also trained its staff at the branches to effectively handle the MSMEs. The staff will be able to identify the different needs customers have and correctly match them to relevant financial solutions.

Clinics will be held in various areas to engage micro enterprises and host networking forums for the SMEs, training them on strategies to grow their businesses.

The vision for the new MSME offering from Coop Bank is to grow world class entrepreneurs beyond the Kenyan borders.

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