Group Savings and Loans Program & Kiva Zip
Conceived as an alternative to the formal financial sector, Group Savings and Loans (GS&L) groups are community-based, user‐owned, and self‐managed savings and lending vehicles built on concepts of transparency and flexibility.
GS&L’s structured methodology fosters discipline among each groups 10-15 members to save regularly and grow lump sums for diverse purposes such as loans, emergency lending and general savings. Participants have started small businesses with their GS&L savings including selling vegetables and purses, a tailoring service, a peanut butter enterprise and a soap making co-operative.
Additionally, as an Elite Trustee of our partner, Kiva Zip, SHOFCO elects exceedingly successful GS&L members to participate in their direct peer-to-peer financing program. SHOFCO publicly endorses these members on the Kiva Zip website, where they can receive larger loans repaid over longer periods of time through Kenya’s mobile M-Pesa platform.
The opportunities through GS&L and Kiva Zip allow families of informal settelments to make the transformation from a mode of ‘every-day survival’ to one of ‘planning for the future.’ Families are able send more children to school for longer periods of time while, longer term, increased earnings contribute to improved nutrition and better living conditions, ultimately translating to a lower incidence of illness and a healthier, more productive life.