Factors affecting sustainability of micro-credit groups in Kenya: a case of Bimas Micro-Finance Institution in Machakos County
Nzomo, Justus M
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This research study focused on the factors affecting sustainability of micro-credit groups in Kalama Ward-Machakos County in Kenya. The research report sought to establish the importance for Microcredit groups to be self sustaining in order to enable their members achieve Income generation, Asset building, Enhance livelihood, Self esteem and Empowerment. In this regard, the main objective of this study was therefore to find out the factors affecting the sustainability of micro finance programs operating in Kenya rural areas. Specific objectives focused on how availability of lending funds, client exit and retention, client capacity building, competition among service providers and policy affected sustainability of rural based microfinance programs. The study adopted a descriptive research design. It focused on Business Initiative and Management Assistance Services (BIMAS) - The leading Microfinance institution with Microcredit and savings groups operating in Kalama County Ward- Machakos Constituency. Out of the 2287 clients in Machakos region, comprised of 183 active groups and 40 inactive groups. 330 clients from Kalama Ward and 12 Staff were considered and applied Stratified Random sampling totaling to 52 Respondents. Data was collected mainly by use of questionnaires had both closed and open ended questions, Observation Schedule and Interview guide. The data was analyzed by use of descriptive statistics which included frequency tables, percentages, and mean. The researcher applied computer packages or tools especially SPSS to analyze data quantitatively and qualitatively. At the end of the study, the researcher has established that availability of lending funds, client exit/retention, client capacity building, client participation, competition among service providers and policy affects sustainability of rural based microfinance programs. The researcher recommended that Retained Clients provide repeat borrowing. A rich product portfolio helps to address the diversified needs of the clients it also provides an opportunity to harness diverse business opportunities in local environment. Similarly, it also goes a long way even to address non business oriented but important needs which compliment the clients' business aspirations. Policy and internal control are the foundations of strong groups and forms the basis of partnership with service providers. Well articulated constitution and credit policy facilitate client appraisal and set the basis of vetting criteria when evaluating prospecting loan applicants.