According to the 2021 Annual Statutory Report on the operations and performance of Regulated SACCO Societies in Kenya by the SACCO Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) published on 3 August 2022, there are 176 licensed Deposit Taking SACCOs (DT-SACCOs) and 185 licensed Non-Withdrawable Deposit Taking SACCOs (NWDT-SACCOs) in the country. As of 31st December 2021, the DT-SACCOs held total assets of KES 691.09 billion and Non- NWDT-SACCOs KES 116.02 billion contributing 5.71% and 0.96% respectively to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). These funds belong to some 5.99 million members in the SACCO subsector comprising 5.54 million members from the DT-SACCOs and 460,785 members from the NWDT-SACCOs. With such numbers, it’s clear the huge role SACCOs play in the country’s economy and the prosperity of individuals, families, and communities.
In his inauguration speech on 13 September 2022, President Dr William Ruto acknowledged that “financial inclusion and access to credit are critical in addressing the fundamental factors of the cost of living, job creation and people’s well-being” and committed to taking measures to drive down the cost of credit. Among the proposed interventions include “…implement the Hustler Fund, dedicated to the capitalization of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises through chamas, SACCOs and cooperatives to make credit available on affordable terms that do not require collateral.” These interventions will be implemented through the establishment of a Ministry of Cooperatives and SME Development mandated to ensure that every small business has secure property rights, access to finance and a supportive regulatory framework.
If this commitment is anything to go by then the SACCO subsector is set for a major boost and positioned to play an even greater role in facilitating personal, community and national development agendas. For those who are not members of any SACCO yet, this is a good time to consider joining one of these licensed and authorized SACCO societies, like Kanisa SACCO.
- Shared Ownership and Governance
An important feature of SACCOs is that they are member-owned, and member-governed based on the seven cooperative principles. This is important in ensuring that those put in charge of the Societies are people with a genuine interest in them. Through general meetings, members have an opportunity to contribute directly to making major decisions concerning the operations of the SACCO, as opposed to other financial institutions. This gives members a sense of control and the ability to oversight the board and management regarding the running of affairs of the SACCO. The fact that many people would rather join SACCOs that are close to where they live, or work makes them very accessible to members and fosters personalized service delivery.
2. Adopting a Saving Culture
Through SACCOs, one can easily learn and adopt a culture of saving and investment through the different products offered. In many cases, the charges associated with opening and maintaining these savings are very minimal. By learning how to save regularly, one can better manage their finances and prepare themselves for tough economic times. Some SACCOs even offer savings products where parents can open and manage accounts on behalf of their children. This helps to instil a culture of saving in children from an early age, which can prove very beneficial in their adult lives.
3. Wealth Accumulation
At the end of every financial year, SACCOs declare and distribute returns on members’ shares and savings in form of dividends and interests respectively based on the year’s performance. In 2021 for instance, according to the 2021 Annual Statutory Report on the operations and performance of Regulated SACCO Societies in Kenya, the average dividends on DT-SACCO share capital stood at 9.44% and that of NWDT-SACCO at 10.55%. on the other hand, the average interest on DT-SACCO savings stood at 6.88% and that of NWDT-SACCOs at 6.83% against an average interest on bank savings of 4.02%. This is a great passive way of accumulating wealth. The more you have the more you earn, hence it is highly recommended to plough back your annual earnings and utilize the power of compound interest to grow your portfolio over time.
4. Access to Affordable Credit
SACCOs offer some of the most affordable credit facilities through diverse products and services that members can take advantage of to develop themselves. The interest rates are always lower and more stable than those of commercial banks, microfinance institutions and digital credit providers. As per the 2021 Annual Statutory Report on the operations and performance of Regulated SACCO Societies in Kenya, cumulatively, the SACCO subsector reported KES 608.75 billion in loans disbursed to members as at the close of the year. 26.97% of this went to land and housing, 20.83% to education, 17.47% to agriculture and 12.16% to trade. Another 8.36% went to consumption and social services, 7.88% to manufacturing and service industries, 4.47 % went to finance, investments, and insurance, and 1.88% went to human health. Through these loans, members can actualize their and their families’ dreams across many spheres of life conveniently and with comfortable repayment terms.
5. Financial Education
One of the cooperative principles is member education, information, and training. SACCOs invest a lot of time and resources to educate their members on financial management and other pertinent areas that affect their financial well-being, like job creation, housing, health, and education among others. By joining a SACCO, you’re joining like-minded people with a desire to improve their financial situation. You also benefit from the success stories of others to inspire you in your financial growth journey.
Regardless of the SACCO, you decide to join, of importance is that it is stable, well-governed, and can sufficiently serve your financial growth interests. A great place to start is these licensed and authorized SACCO societies. We welcome you to Kanisa SACCO to join over 3,300 others who’ve relied on us to walk with them in their journey to financial independence since 1981.
Nelson Opany is the Vice Chairperson at Kanisa Regulated Non-WDT SACCO Society Limited “Kanisa SACCO” (firstname.lastname@example.org)