In this land of opportunity, microfinance institutions are helping entrepreneurs and small business owners unleash their potential, one loan at a time. So, let’s take a closer look at the best microfinance institutions in Kenya and see how they’re helping Kenyans turn their dreams into reality!
Pay attention: Microfinance banks in Kenya are licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).
What is the purpose of a microfinance institution in Kenya?
Microfinance institutions (MFIs) solely exist to help the unemployed and low-income class obtain low-interest loans that are usually not available in the traditional banking system. These loans are usually meant to financially stabilize these individuals in the highly competitive Kenyan economy.
For quite some time now, microfinance loans have been aimed to empower women but recently, men have also found their way into these institutions.
List of top microfinance institutions in Kenya
1. Kenya Women Finance Trust (KWFT)
With a mission to reach all unbankable women of Kenya, KWFT has grown to be the top microfinance institution in the country. This bank is a total of 229 branches in Kenya, 1.17 billion deposits, and over 600,000 customers in Kenya.
It was first launched in the country back in 2010 to aid women financially. This microfinance institution has superseded expectations as it is a giant in the mentioned sector of finance.
|Asset Base||26.9 billion|
|Loan and Advances||Ksh.15.28 billion +|
|Deposits||Ksh.17.7 billion +|
|Number of Branches in Kenya||229 (45/47 counties)|
|Contact information||[email protected] (email)|
To open a savings account with KWFT, visit their website here and follow the guidelines.
2. Rafiki deposit-taking microfinance
Despite the definition of a microfinance institution, Rafiki microfinance bank offers its services to both salaried and self-employed Kenyans within the low-income bracket. Farmers, SMEs, self-help groups and investment clubs stand to gain a lot from this institution. For more information, visit their website here.
|Loan and Advances||Ksh.5 billion +|
|Number of Branches in Kenya||57+ (32/47 counties)|
|Contact information||+254 711 074 000|
3. Faulu Microfinance
Faulu Bank boasts to be among the leading microfinance institution in the country. It is a member of old mutual and a subsidiary of The Old Mutual East Africa Group. To register as a member, follow this link. Accessing loans from this financial institution has been made easy for all its members, with a special emphasis on amicable interest rates. Below are other features;
|Number of Branches in Kenya||19 (11/47 counties)|
|Contact information||+254 711 073 000|
4. Musoni Microfinance
Musoni MFI stands out from the rest listed in this article as it is the first MFI to be 100% cashless, leveraging innovative technology to provide services to MSMEs. More details are below:
|Clientele||63% are female clients|
|Average Loan Size||Ksh.37,500|
|Number of Branches in Kenya||25 (12/47 counties)|
|Contact information||+254 709 761 101|
5. Key Microfinance
Key MFI bank is a nationwide deposit-taking institution that has been in operation since 2010 in Kenya. The bank mainly focuses on providing affordable loans to SMEs and low-income individuals.
|Branches in Kenya||Nairobi (head office)|
|Contact information||+254 733 553 555 [email protected]|
6. Century Microfinance
Century MFB Limited is a microfinance institution in Kenya that provides financial services to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), as well as low-income individuals. The bank offers a range of financial products, including loans, savings accounts, and money transfer services. Follow this link to access their website.
Here is a list of loans offered by the microfinance institution:
- Check discounting & accommodation
- Dharura loan
- LPO/Invoice discounting
- Jijenge loan/Projects loan
- Boresha loan
- Business overdraft
- Soko loan
- Insurance premium financing
- Mazao factor
- Rent Zaidi
- Micro leasing
For more loan information, ask Victor Matara.
7. Sumac Microfinance
This institution seeks to empower businesses into successful enterprises. Sumac MFI offers a range of services as listed below;
- Trade finance
- Mobile banking
|Loan and Advances||Ksh.2 billion +|
|Number of Branches in Kenya||7|
|Contact information||+254 111 029 000|
8. U&I Microfinance
U&I MFI is a Kenyan-based microfinance company that provides financial services to low-income individuals and small businesses. The company’s mission is to provide accessible and affordable financial services to its clients, thereby empowering them to improve their lives and grow their businesses
|Asset Base||Ksh.500 million+|
|Loans and Advances||Ksh.3 billion+|
|Number of Branches in Kenya||10|
|Contact information||+254 713 112 791|
Download the U&I 2021 financial statement here.
9. Momentum Credit Microfinance
Momentum Credit MFI is a non-deposit-taking institution, making it unique among the ones listed in this article. The institution was founded in March 2017 but had a vast customer base that has since been steadily increasing.
10. Salaam Microfinance
Salaam Microfinance Bank has its head office in Nairobi. It specializes in offering Islamic-compliant products and services on a national scale. Salaam MFI was previously named Uwezo Microfinance Bank. The reason for the mane change has not been expressly stated in their documentation.
|Contact Information||[email protected]|
Other microfinance institutions in Kenya include:
- Caritas Microfinance
- Choice Microfinance
- Daraja Microfinance
- Maisha Microfinance
Requirements needed to join Microfinance Institutions in Kenya
- Proof of identity – You will need to provide a copy of your national ID. This means that you should have a minimum age of 18 years. For some institutions such as KWFT, the applicant must be a woman.
- Proof of residency – MFIs are meant to help the local population. Therefore, being a citizen of Kenya is a minimum requirement.
- Business or employment information – Most MFIs demand that before applying for any loan offered by the institutions, you should have a business that has been in operation for at least three years. This guideline may vary with each institution.
- Financial information – to assess eligibility for services from MFIs, the institutions may perform a background check of the applicant to minimize chances of fraud and defaulting on loan repayment.
- Collateral: Property, assets, or a guarantor is needed for an applicant to be approved for a loan from a microfinance institution.
As stated earlier, microfinance institutions in Kenya target low-income earners, offering them low-interest loans and savings options with competitive interest rates. Nothing is stopping you from contacting one of the MFIs listed here and financing your business. Best of luck!