Idewes and Micro Credit

The IDEWES micro-credit project will empower vulnerable women living in the Kibera settlement in Nairobi, most of who are self-employed and living close to poverty. They often earn a living through a variety of informal trades but face challenges in expanding their micro-enterprises, principally due to a lack of financial support.

A lack of access to credit accentuates poverty traps and cycles of vulnerability, particularly for women who face higher levels of poverty. Problems faced include a lack of education, of entrepreneurial skills and self-confidence, poor health and isolation.

To tackle these issues IDEWES will promote a holistic approach to target women’s empowerment. Group-based lending and saving services will act as a platform to provide education and social support along with financial services. Business and leadership training will be provided and regular group meetings will be act as a forum for clients to discuss issues and share best practices.

Through access to support and financial services women will be empowered to lift themselves out of poverty and vulnerability. With increased status, independence, income and negotiating power, women will be better able to exercise their right to sexual and reproductive health, to allocate household resources, and participate in economic and social development. As a result we expect to see growth in small businesses and progress away from poverty for borrowers.

We plan to adhere to a simple loan programme during our first years of operation. IDEWES will issue micro loans to clients to be used for investments in business expansion. The following is a basic description of our loan product:

  • Groups are made up of 5 people and are ‘self-selecting’
  • Individuals will save before they qualify to take a loan
  • Individuals continue to save on a weekly basis
  • Interest is charged at a flat rate of 20 per cent for 6 month loans
  • Payments will be collected weekly during the repayment period