Category Archives: Uncategorized

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Ubunifu SACCO

Celebrating Our Investment and Savings Heroes This Mashujaa Day

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We are currently preparing to celebrate Mashujaa Day, just this week. As we sing their songs, it is my appeal that we should not forget singing about agents of socio-economic transformation of our country. These are striving to help Kenyans generate wealth and develop a savings culture. Without them, the hope of humanity for crossing the poverty line are permanently constrained. I am talking of Savings and Credit Society Cooperative (SACCOs).

SACCOs are currently helping many Kenyans to make decisions featuring rationality and oriented towards prosperity as they strive to transform their lives. A penny kept today translates to pennies tomorrow.

Kenya’s SACCOs are maximizing on the two unhappy phenomena. First, banks are unwilling to lend to Kenyans with startups. Second, high interest rates charged by banks. Although the recent capping of interest rate is currently a reality, banks are going to further establish stringent loan access procedures. This is yet another reason why SACCOs are going to exhibit relevance in the Kenyan context.

Ubunifu SACCO has achieved an extraordinary growth in the recent months due to its less stringent rules and ability to meet all member needs within short schedules. From a humble background, Ubunifu is proud of having identified, anticipated and devised ways of meeting customer needs without customer undergoing strains. As such, the SACCO is currently joining the hero society as an investment and savings guru.

Currently, SACCO members pride enriching rewards because they provide win-win situations for both lenders and borrowers. Beneficiaries are certain that over time they will not only grow their personal businesses, but also their savings in the SACCO.

SACCOs such as Ubunifu are dedicated to helping Kenyans achieve their social and economic goals. “We shall also celebrate ourselves this Mashujaa Day because we are heroes/heroines dedicated to change the status of citizens of this country.”

By Wycliffe G. Makworo


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Trust in the writing industry

Advancing the Principle of Trust in the Freelance Industry

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The freelancing industry (commonly referred to as online writing along Thika Superhighway) is purely a trust-me-I-trust-you endeavor! I remember how it all started a few years ago: you only needed to like a Facebook page with the word “Academia”, lie that you have been writing for the last three years and you urgently needed to stay peaceful with the landlord by end month (unless you are very sure that he had booked the Malaysian Airplane). Other things like quality would take care of themselves later through revisions. Alternatively, you would walk keenly inside tunnels and flyovers along the superhighway, and especially Kahawa Wendani where online writing was born, carefully reading all postas pinned. At the end of the month, the possibility of peaceful coexistence with the landlord was contingent upon the honesty of your employer, quality of your work and the amount of work available. It all went well for many, but a few were forced to down tools due to trust issues.

In 2015, at a time like today (only that there was no eclipse the previous day), someone suggested that writers too-just like teachers, accountants, community groups, and most recent the police-needed a SACCO. Insults that followed perhaps could be the reason why Mark Zuckerberg was forced to tour Kenya yesterday. And Kenyans never spared him-some used his own platform to insult him!

As a writer, I did not see any problem with starting the 2015-edition Sacco. A Sacco, regardless of the interest rate capping Banking Act of 2016, are still the best avenues for socio-economic development. With their very low interest rates and ambitious saving plans, Saccos have helped majority of Kenyans grow businesses and consequently create multibillion enterprises. Perhaps the problem with the suggested SACCO could have been with the starters or writers. Wrong introduction by starters and trust issues among the freelancers might have fueled the rejection!

One factor that worries me most is that majority of us have opened fixed accounts with banks. With fixed accounts, investors borrow and develop themselves while we keep jumping up and down at static positions. However, the ksh.100, 000 fixed at some commercial bank would enable you access a loan of ksh. 300,000 at only 1% interest rate if you have a feasible business idea.

The reason for every institution, industry and department starting their own SACCOs constitute the tenet that “…understand my needs…” The police Sacco understands actual needs of the police, the Mwalimu Sacco understands the needs of teachers, and the nurses’ Sacco understands the needs of teachers…-what of writers? The writers Sacco could understand the needs of writers!

Assume it is end month and Essaywriters decides to suspend your account and promises to pay your $2300 after 3 months. Disturbed by the landlord, your writers crowd at the doorstep of your apartment, ready to do anything to get paid. Among writers, this is a genuine reason to get an emergency loan from the SACCO and can easily get guarantors regardless of the financial position at that time. Go to Gakuyu or Rafiki Sacco with such a reason-you may not get instant assistance because they do not understand what Acemy Homework is all about.

From the standpoint of reality, it is imperative to realize the necessity of having something to be proud of as writers even if the industry could collapse today. We only need to build trust and take risks because even the established Saccos did not fall from heaven, but started right here on earth. Already the trust has been advanced among members who have been able to reap the fruits of writers’ Sacco. We cannot fear to be members of financial institutions at the start-up, and want to join at established when admission will be damn expensive. The necessity of identifying one writers’ SACCO near you and seeking membership should not be underestimated. Through effort integration, we can grow together as children of a united nation.


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Digital

Transforming the SACCO sector for the Next Generation of Bankers

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The Standard Newspaper on November 11, 2014 reported an unprecedented increase in number of SACCOs seeking licenses to enter the already competitive finance sector. However, majority of these SACCOs (including those seeking conversion into commercial banks) still exhibited over reliance on traditional paperwork for all their customer service processes.

Carilus Ademba, SASRA’s CEO, recognises the growing demand for more sophisticated financial products and services following demand from SACCO members. Surprisingly, majority of Kenyan SACCOs have not been able to address the aspect of convenience, which is one of the fundamental dimension of quality that defines success of financial institutions in the 21st century.

The need to transform SACCO sector for the next generation of bankers constituted one of the founding principle of Ubunifu SACCO. This would be achieved through banking processes digitalisation! The market research conducted by Ubunifu SACCO between March and May 2015 revealed that SACCO members in Kenya are still struggling with queues, lengthy paperwork and adherence to office hours for loan processing in the era when loan application would be done from members’ locations of convenience.

The urgent need for digitalisation of financial systems and processes is not optional for the current financial sector. For us to transform the banking sector for the next generation, it is crucial to adopt advanced technologies that allow SACCO members to transact as they travel, eat, sleep or even play in the fields. This implies digitalising all processes from registration, making payments, applying for loans, requesting for guarantors, and repaying the loan.

Through concerted efforts, Ubunifu SACCO has been able to achieve complete digitalisation of all its service processes. Ubunifu is proud of being the first SACCO in Kenya where a member does not need to spend resources to SACCO offices. In fact, through an advanced technological platform, Ubunifu has managed to attract cross-border membership.

As a digitalisation pioneer in the industry, Ubunifu SACCO encourages all citizens to continue joining SACCOs and enjoy financial products at minimal interest rates. While doing the same, Ubunifu further emphasises the necessity of seeking services founded on the principles of total quality management. The resultant responsiveness, competence, access, security, courtesy, credibility, and prioritising member needs will not only see the SACCOs’ profitability expand, but also promise business sustainability and improved competitive edge for benefit of all citizens.


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Ubunifu Sacco: the Journey so far

Category : Uncategorized

From modest beginnings, Ubunifu Sacco initially started as a savings club in 2013 with about 12 members. Over the period of the next couple of months, the savings club continued to grow. Being freelancers, majority of people would not get loan services from commercial banks. Therefore the savings club was formed to provide financial services based on unique member needs. Later the savings club grew and there was need to form a more formalised entity that would open up membership to other like-minded people. Therefore at the beginning of 2015, members agreed to convert the savings club into a sacco. The impetus for transitioning to a sacco was simple- to form a platform whereby members would be able to save and gain access to credit at affordable rates based on the unique member needs. An interim management team to foresee the process of transforming into a sacco was elected by members in March 2015. The team would go ahead and serve for a period of three months pending a General Meeting that would elect the officials to steer the sacco forward. Ubunifu Sacco received its certificate of incorporation on 22nd May 2015. Later the first AGM was held on June 17 2015 whereby a new board was voted in by members.
Majority of sacco members are young people. Therefore Ubunifu’s main focus is to provide tailor-made financial services to members. In addition, the Sacco aims to always focus on innovative financial services in order to ultimately revolutionise the manner in which services are rendered to members. This being the technology age, the sacco endeavours to continuously innovate and find effective and efficient ways of providing services to members. Based on the realisation that technology can be used to ensure efficiency in the manner in which the sacco conducts its business, the Sacco launched mobile payments platform whereby members can easily make their monthly savings through their mobile phones. In addition, the sacco acquired accounting software that has played a crucial role in streamlining activities such as tracking of member contributions, loan processing and sacco books of accounts. Later on the sacco designed a website that easily updates members of all sacco related activities. Members can easily apply for a loan through the website.
Another major area of focus for Ubunifu is to continually come up with new savings and loans products that reflect member needs. The sacco continues to focus on products that give value to members and help the Sacco generate returns. The nature of products offered by the sacco will ultimately make it stand out in terms of meeting member financial needs. This is a continuous process that we all aim to achieve. For example during the last sacco SGM held on June 3rd 2016, anew loan product, TEKE TEKE LOAN was introduced. This new product is based on assessment that members need access to emergency loans within a short period of time. Therefore with this loan, members can apply and get a loan within the same working day. It is also flexible because members do not need guarantors and access to the loan is also not tied to existing loan obligation. With time, the allocated amount for the loan is expected to increase depending on demand. There are also other loan products such as normal loan, elimu loan, development loan, Jienjoy loan and household loan. Information about these loans can be found on the sacco website. Continuous improvement is therefore essential in ensuring Ubunifu soars to greater heights and becomes a source of pride to members.
Moreover the Sacco aims to provide members with platforms that members can contribute their ideas and opinions about the growth of the sacco. Such platforms also seek to provide the sacco stakeholders an opportunity to reflect on the investment opportunities that members can take advantage. One of such platforms is this blog. We hope that this blog will become member centred so that we can exchange ideas, share and interact on a wide array of issues.
Member training is also important in order to ensure members are aware of financial management as well as their roles and responsibilities in ensuring Ubunifu sacco grows to become the most efficient youth based sacco in East Africa. So far, the sacco has been able to disburse loans in excess of ksh 2 million and it our delight that the sacco will continue to play a role in supporting members financial needs.
Moving forward, the sacco aims to recruit more members in order to ensure it reaches out to more members and also ensure a higher amount of money is available for loaning. This is a task that we all take responsibility for because it is crucial for future growth of the sacco. Together, we endeavour to transform Ubunifu Sacco into a vibrant, dynamic and a sacco that members can be proud of and one that continues to grow in future while meeting member needs.


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