The Journey of Fewa Sacco

The Journey of Fewa Sacco

The Journey of Fewa Sacco

“I would bet that every woman entrepreneur has dreamed of doing great things with her career”.
The journey of FEWA SACCO is entwined with The Federation of Women Entrepreneur Associations (“FEWA” or “The Federation”) where they share strong ties and a rich legacy. FEWA, as it’s commonly known is the apex body for all women business associations, whose membership is comprised of women associations as well as individual women entrepreneurs.
FEWA carried out a research and the study revealed that the biggest challenge plaguing women entrepreneurs is difficulty in accessing affordable funding. An analysis of the financing solutions in the market targeted at women entrepreneurs further revealed that the processes for applying and securing loans are stringent and bureaucratic, collateral is required; and the existing offerings were suitable mostly for micro-entrepreneurs, while the interest rates charged was prohibitive for small businesses to strive and grow.
This research inspired and jolted the founder of FEWA to make a difference, and the idea of setting up a SACCO which women would feel less intimidated to borrow from in addition to providing affordable credit with minimal collateral to women entrepreneurs was mooted.
FEWA Savings and Credit Cooperative Society Ltd was established in 2009, under the Co-operative Act. The Sacco’s objective is help women entrepreneurs’ access affordable credit with greater ease with no /minimal collateral required such as personal guarantees. FEWA SACCO was drawing its membership from the existing FEWA associations, who comprised the common bond. The SACCO was launched in November 2009, with a big vision to empower and transform lives of women through affordable credit.
The founders were very enthusiastic about the SACCO, given the response they received from launching, and the support from the development partners and government. They embarked aggressively on the recruitment of members and mobilization of deposits, but soon grinded to a halt after the founders realized that they did not have any systems in place, nor staff, or knowledge on how to run/ manage a SACCO with the overwhelming response from potential members. It therefore dawned on the founders that they needed technical & financial assistance to put in place the required systems and secure other vital resources. This search led to the US Embassy which in turn referred the FEWA SACCO officials to USAID Financial Inclusion for Rural Microenterprise (FIRM) –Program and discussions began in 2010 and crystallized in 2012. JM Mantle was contracted by USAID–FIRM to help FEWA SACCO in this assignment.
At FEWA Sacco we are focused towards improvement of the environment for women owned SMEs, to make them more focused as they are create scope for employment, innovation and skills in the local and international markets.
In conclusion, FEWA Sacco has opened its bond “it’s a Sacco for women by women”

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