HFC has re-emphasized the need to increase funding and capacity building for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Managing Director Sam Waweru has reiterated that lending to small businesses whether informal or formal, serves the bank’s strategy of targeting new market segments.
Mr Waweru points out that MSMEs feed into this strategy because the ability to mobilize cheap deposits will ensure the banking services provider has adequate resources to meet the huge demand presented by the micro finance market and other segments.
‘’Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They provide employment, financial empowerment and enable our people to unlock their talents. We’re willing to believe and invest in them. The main criteria is these businesses must be legal.’’ said Sam Waweru, HFC Managing Director.
The current business environment has been challenging for MSMEs, denying them access to credit facilities. Mr Waweru however notes this is the right time for small businesses to flourish.
‘’Of course there are challenges but MSMEs are being recognized and supported by the government through single licensing, construction of Jua Kali sheds in most towns, and the introduction of various funds,’’ he said.
A crucial element of HFC support of MSMEs will be to provide financial and management advice and training to MSME owners.
‘’By simply visiting the business and understanding the customer business concept we are able to partner in financing from as little as Ksh10,000 to as high as Ksh2million before graduating the customer to SME for higher funding. We will also have various customer trainings in various towns to help them market their businesses and earn higher returns,’’ said Mr Waweru.
HFC’s approach has seen it developing a unique value proposition to support small businesses, with transactional products; savings and investment solutions and lending products. The products created tailored for SMEs include Liability products with-Micro Biz account, Kundi Bora account, and Asset products such as-Micro Credit Standard Loan, Micro Credit Premium loan and Micro Credit group loan.
Solidifying all these products is an investment in a robust technology in the form of a core-banking system, designed to make banking easier for its clients. HFC launched mobile banking tailored for small businesses, and is soon to launch its internet banking solution. “Our investment in technology will reduce the challenges faced by customers and help them run more efficient businesses,” Waweru said.
Mr Waweru projects the ability of the banking services provider to mobilize cheap deposits will ensure they have adequate resources to meet the huge demand presented by the micro finance market and other segments.