Many Kenyans from different walks of life are members of savings and credit co-operative societies (saccos). Indeed, saccos are effective vehicles through which Kenyans are able to save (and access credit) in order to improve their lives and livelihoods. Saccos stand out because of offering competitive interest rates on the loans that they advance to their members. Of critical importance, they give dividends to their members on an annual basis based on the profits they have generated. In turn, members use such dividends to meet their daily needs and to invest in various income generating activities. The beauty of investing in a sacco is that one gets to own a piece of its big cake. This enhances loyalty.
Nevertheless, as saccos grow bigger and bigger in respect to membership, profitability and reach, there is need to strengthen their corporate governance and their cyber security measures. With the fast growth in technology, saccos have digitized their operations and product offering and that is why the likelihood of cyber attacks cannot be taken for granted. By the same token, strong corporate governance will lead to prudent management of the members’ resources under the care of saccos.
But possibly, the key driver to the growth of saccos remains giving their customers (members) exemplary service. By and large, it is the customers who have entrusted saccos with their hard earned resources and their feedback (however unflattering) should therefore be taken seriously. To demonstrate this point further, all the key decisions pertaining to the leadership and management of saccos are made by the members during the annual general meetings (AGMs). Sacco directors are also elected by members and the critical responsibility of driving strategy rests on them.
By opening their common bonds, many saccos have given entrepreneurs an opportunity to join them. Indeed, by forming groups (and even as individuals), entrepreneurs have been able to save and access credit from saccos hence succeeding in their respective businesses. The sacco model is therefore a winner in a country where millions of households depend on micro and small enterprises in order to make ends meet. If you have not yet joined a sacco then, you seriously need to take a second thought lest you continue missing the opportunities above.