One on One with Beatrice Kisanya of Finmat Sacco

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By Kariuki Waithaka

The savings and credit cooperative societies is indeed a vibrant movement in Kenya that has enabled millions of Kenyans achieve their financial goals as well as contributing to national development.

It’s in light of this that the Mount Kenya Times sought a word with Madam Beatrice Kisanya one of the Directors and co-founders of Finmat Sacco.

“I am Beatrice Kisanya, one of the directors and Cofounders of Finmat Sacco. Finmat Finmat Sacco started as a Financial Maters Welfare by 30 former bankers in 2018. The aspiration of the welfare was to have a kitty for our members to borrow as well as empower the society through financial literacy knowledge acquired in our working career. Our vision was to empower 100K people be financially independent in 5 years.

As we went out to train, majority of the clientele would ask what next as capital access was a challenge. Thus Finmat Sacco was birthed in 2019. With a seed capital of Kes.2M, the Sacco has grown its membership to over 1200 while growing its assets book to over Ksh 25 million.

Madam Beatrice explains that Finmat Sacco currently has a local footprint in a variety of counties.

“We have presence in 6 counties of Trans-Nzoia, Migori, Kisumu, Kajiado, Mombasa and Nairobi. Finmat continues to grow by engaging in beneficial partnerships as well as inviting individual investors to share in its vision. We are members of KUSCCO (Umbrella body for Saccos) and regulated by the Ministry of Co-operatives.”

The humble, down-to-earth lady believes success is a journey.

“I can’t say I have achieved greatness as am work in progress. The Lord has enabled me thus far and I believe he is not finished the good work He started. Its about serving faithfully and whole heartedly in the fear of the Lord. Its humbling when many people are looking up to you to provide solutions and at times you have no solution. Its to acknowledging that am limited and I need help not only from those around me but God as the ultimate provider of wisdom. Just as king Jehoshaphat said I don’t know what to do but my eyes are on you. My eyes are always on God.”

Beatrice alluded that they are eagerly waiting for the Hustlers fund as pledged by President William Ruto.

“We are waiting to tap into the Hustlers funds. I believe the reduced cost of funding (single digit) will enable majority borrow and repay as profit margins for most business are very small and high interest rates offered by financial industry players is not tenable. The government needs to provide Saccos with a data base that will weed out fraudsters and bad payers especially now that we are not encouraged to list defaulters in CRBs.

  • Work with Saccos to come up with legislation that can ease inter-Sacco lending.
  • Sacco deposit protection fund process to be sped up to protect Sacco clients against failing Saccos

Beatrice admits that the journey has not been all rosy.

“the greatest challenges facing Sacco startups today

  • Funding there is no bank willing to lend to start ups.
  • Trust issues- public is wary of many con people who mascaraed as Saccos to swindle unsuspecting people of their hard earned monies. This has made it difficult for the public to trust small Saccos.
  • We have had many Saccos windup and manyindividuals loose saving built up over their working life.

Her concluding remarks is that there is power in savings however little. It is not how much you make its how much you save that makes a difference Start where you are and watch your savings grow. Nothing is too small..haba na haba hujaza kibaba

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