The Table Banking Project is a financial inclusion project that seeks to increase access to affordable financial services to rural people especially women and youth through micro finance and thus contribute towards poverty eradication, increased incomes, employment creation and building of wealth among the low income people in western Kenya. The innovative microfinance savings and credit scheme or ’’table-banking’’ project objective is to bridge the gap of limited access to credit and financial services by smallholder farmers and small scale entrepreneurs.
This has been a three-year project (2013-2015) which was funded by the Buren Churches, Netherlands and CORDAID; and implemented in Samia District, Busia County of Western Kenya.
The objectives of the Table Banking Project have been achieved by building the capacity of project beneficiaries to access credit through self-help groups which they can use to advance their income-generating activities.
Since the inception of the project to date, the project has built the capacity of 29 Self Help Groups (SHGs) with a total membership of 576 members and so far the achievements made by the project have been:
- Formation and organization of additional self help groups-24 new groups have been formed
- Training of groups on:
(ii)Table banking and entrepreneurship;
(iii) Refresher training of old groups –main focus being the new rules and regulations governing
the Table Banking project;
(iv) Group governance –focusing on constitution and by-laws to govern their activities;
(v) Poultry husbandry and Management as an alternative income generating activity.
- Disbursement of Ksh583,000 as top-up funds to groups.
- Establishment of linkages with CABE’s poultry commercialization project which trained members on poultry husbandry and management.
Moving forward CABE has also come up with other loan products to cushion members from spending their enterprise loans on their pressing social needs such as education and funerals. The two are saving schemes targeting school fees and investment in agricultural inputs.We are also designing a new loan product, ‘market day’ loan (soko loan), with a shorter repayment period, of one week and hope to roll it out soon. This is meant to support SMEs who are often in need of short-term loans to invest in their business during the market day (typically once per week) and repay thereafter.