By putting in place an innovative strategy that embraces digitization, Jitegemea continues to thrive in a sector that is characterized by cut-throat competition
JITEGEMEA has an agile and responsive modern time impactful products that leads to evident impact to the clients whilst returning sustainable value to the stakeholders. We are in the process of transforming to a public limited company from a company limited by guarantee, currently owned fully by the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA). The institution has grown from three staff members in 1998, to currently over fifty employees serving over fourteen thousand clients of whom 55% are women and 35% being youth. JITEGEMEA has fourteen branches around the country, serving clients spread in twenty-five counties.
Since its establishment in 1998, our mission has focused on economically empowering and uplifting the well-being of partner communities through competitive and customer-responsive financial services. Over the last seven years, more than Kshs 6 billion ($45 Million) has been granted to tens of thousands of retails and wholesale trade, service and small manufacturing MSMEs, 55% to women-led enterprises in client specific credit solutions.
Consequently, focusing on our motto: “Ready to give a hand”, JITEGEMEA actively participates in the intervention of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number eight: Decent Work and Economic Growth among others.
JITEGEMEA’s main credit products are focused on support to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) entrepreneurs. Recognizing that our clients’ financial needs extend beyond business; JITEGEMEA invests in training them in order to build their business capacity and open them to expanded possibilities. Additionally, clients who demonstrate good performance can take social products such as education loan and health insurance loan ( which also form part of our product offering) in order to ensure that other household needs do not interfere with their day-to-day business operations.
JITEGEMEA MISSION, VISION AND CORE VALUES
We have translated our vision and mission into actionable plans and systems. The vision, values for success and mission statements are listed below:
Vision: To become a reputable financial institution in Africa.
Mission: To empower our clients by availing financial and social products and services that will enable them realize their potential.
Slogan: Ready to give a hand.
Our Core Values
We are committed to continuously research and develop novel, affordable and value-adding products and services that will guarantee customer satisfaction and transformation of lives.
Continuously striving to uphold the highest professional standards, provide sound advice and thoroughly maintain our credibility. We will uphold honesty and good governance in all our business practices.
Relationships and Partnerships
We are committed to develop and maintain strategic partnerships having recognized the synergic effect of such relationships. Our mission may be unrealistic without such relationships and partnership with win-win outcomes.
Justice and Equity
We uphold justice and equity to all with highest courtesy and respect valuing their opinions, unique gifting and experiences.
We encourage everyone’s participation and contribution.
We strive to do our best both as individuals and as an organization. We ensure that our work is consistently of the highest quality.
We are an equal opportunity organization and discourage discrimination on the basis of gender, ethnic background, political or religious affiliation.
WHY JITEGEMEA STANDS OUT AS A CREDIT ONLY MICROFINANCE INSTITUTION
JITEGEMEA is a customer-focused organization with a strong social orientation. We have journeyed with some of our clients from small loan facilities (of as low as Kshs. 2,000) to the current status where they are servicing facilities of up to Kshs. 2 million. With the transformation of the company to a public company in 2023, Jitegemea plans to incorporate our clients and the PCEA Church congregation from where the company
originated from to form the majority shareholding of the company.
JITEGEMEA largely practices group-lending methodology. This has helped us to remain socially relevant in the wake of other competing lending methods in the industry. Our groups have continued to thrive by creating cohesiveness, common platform for information sharing, pooling of knowledge and financial ladders for each other’s’ economic growth.
Additionally, towards our campaign for financial inclusivity, this method has helped JITEGEMEA to reach out to the unbanked but economically active clients who would otherwise be left out for financial services in the marginalized areas of our operations.
JITEGEMEA practices a unique client capacity building approach where new clients are trained on basic but key areas of financial management such as importance of book keeping, loan repayment, savings culture, product knowledge, how credit transform their lives, interpersonal skills among others.
In our product portfolio, we have socially oriented products that are specifically geared towards transforming our clients’ social life such WaSH and agribusiness products. This has helped our clients in establishing sustainable enterprises that would otherwise be treated as a non-income generating activities. This has gone a long way in boosting the social-economic status of our clientele.
For the above to happen efficiently, JITEGEMEA has wholly embraced use of technology in delivering her services. It is worth noting that in today’s world, technology is tool that cannot be ignored if a company has to be competitive and efficient. In this regards, JITEGEMEA has the entrenched relevant technology that has seen the clients happier and satisfied.
We offer holistic products and services that ensure all our clients’ financial needs for both business and personal development are met without compromising on their business continuity. Jitegemea endeavours to touch the lives of her clients through innovative products and services, incubating them through trainings and programs that strengthen their business though incorporating best practices and expertise and finally incorporating digitalization to offer excellent service in the most affordable way. During our last social rating by MicroFinanza, we scored a B whereas in financial rating we scored a B+.
Our product offering
We offer an array of innovative products including:
● Group Business Loan
● Individual Business Loan
● Church Loans
ii. Education Finance Loans
● School Fees Loan
● School Improvement Loan
● School Suppliers Loan
● Teachers’ Loans
iii. Agribusiness Loans
● Horticultural Loans
● Poultry Loans
● Fisheries Loans
● Animal Fattening Loans
● Dairy Farming Loans
● Bee Keeping Loans
iv. Asset Financing
● Car Loans
● Logbook Loans
● Consumer Loans
v. Emergency Loans
vi. Energy Loans
● Solar systems
● Bio Gas
● Energy Saver bulbs
vii.WASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene) Loans
● Water Tanks
● Water piping
● Septic Tanks
● Water Harvesters
● Water Kiosks
● Pit Latrines
● Water Purifiers
USE OF TECHNOLOGY AS A TOOL FOR ENHANCING EFFICIENCY IN MICROFINANCE
Technology is consistently cited as one of the greatest challenges faced by MFIs. Efficient use of technology can help reduce costs, improve efficiency, increase outreach, improve customer relationship, reduce operational risk through various automated digital services by avoiding risks of cash-based transactions in all forms, create partnerships and collaborations, and is a source of data to be used to evaluate and process data for credit scoring. Many MFIs sometimes make poor technology investments or simply do not invest in technology thus limiting their ability to grow and respond to the emerging client demand and market trends.
Jitegemea is cog sent of the above and have consistently continued to use and develop and grow the use of technology to bring efficiency in the running of the MFI.
JITEGEMEA journey to digitization began in 2007 when we embarked on migrating from legacy systems to a web-based system. The journey has seen us upgrade our core banking systems every five years. The most recent technology upgrade was successfully rolled out in January 2023.
Jitegemea incorporates technology in enabling our loan officers to remotely initiate client on-boarding process, capture know your customer (KYC) data, perform appraisals and finally, submit applications for approvals whilst working away from the office. This is achieved through specialized
devices provided to each field officer courtesy of MESPT Kenya, as a working tool to perform these key functions.
Specialised features like biometrics collection, facial recognition and mobile number OTP (One time password) verification are also available for use to increase the accuracy and security of the system. Clients are informed on their transactions and balances via SMS notifications. They are also able to query their balances through ussd codes and apply for loan facilities using the same.
Loans are applied in the system directly at client group meetings and the documentation captured digitally using mobile devices and the system mobile apps, thereby providing banking services to the unbanked right at their doorsteps.
JITEGEMEA has integrated its systems with mobile money platforms, which allow us to automatically disburse loans to our clients promptly as well as update their balances on repayments real-time.
Product differentiation is one of the key improvements in our latest technology upgrade. We are now able to streamline our product offering where we can offer specialised products differentiated in their structure and features and we can easily monitor the performance of each of product on a timely fashion.
We have fully automated our loan disbursement process. Previously, our products were half automated and required human intervention to disburse to clients by manually uploading payments to payment channel. The current system is integrated with mobile money platforms eliminating human intervention and the risks that accompany it.
The latest upgrade has introduced better reporting. The new system is very rich in reporting and offers users a friendly interface to customize and filter the kind of information they require for the decisions needed to optimize business performance.
The new system has also enhanced robust accounting. It is designed with the accounting in mind. Data is systematically and logically stored with loopholes experienced in the previous systems eliminated. Another benefit is enhanced client recruitment.
Improved client retention is also a definite outcome following the improved quality delivery of service and turnaround times, which has eliminated many manual processes.
Finally, with the new system, we are on our way to become a paperless organization as we embark to digitalize most of our processes.
Regulating the microfinance sector
There is increasing clarity that governments do have a constructive role in building financial systems that work for the poor. Experienced donors can support governments to focus on developing sound policy frameworks and encouraging a vibrant and competitive microfinance sector, rather than directly providing financial services.
Some of the benefits of regulating the sector include;
1. Recognition of the sector by the government
2. Investors will have more confidence in investing in this sector
3. There will be standardization of processes which will protect the clients from unscrupulous institutions that have penetrated the market
4. The platform for completion shall be equalized thereby increasing quality of service and products in the industry.
It is on this premise that JITEGEMEA has embarked in the process of registering with the Central Bank of Kenya as a Digital Credit Provider (DCP).
The road ahead
Our goal for the next five years stands on the following six pillars:
a. To enhance our corporate governance which includes transformation from a company limited by shares to a public limited company
b. Product and process re-engineering in order to accommodate the new business outfit
c. Raising adequate capital through issuance of equity and other forms of capital mobilization
d. Cost rationalization by putting measures to ensures we are able to match the revenues, costs and staff productivity
e. To build the capacity of key people : board, management, staff as well as clients and finally,
f. To enhance the brand and brand value by implementing our rebranding strategy
JITEGEMEA will seek to further penetrate the market though segmentation of different areas and offering specific customer oriented products like Agribusiness. Some of our branches have already been earmarked for AgriFinancing and we shall be developing these portfolios further in that direction.
Upon the completion of the registration with the regulator CBK, as a Digital Credit Provider, JITEGEMA will further deploy more technology to achieve our vision of touching the lives of our clients and serving them in the most efficient and sustainable way possible.
The deployment of new technological trends and blending it with our social goals to run our day-to-day operations has continued to turn things to our advantage. JITEGEMEA continues to focus on empowering and uplifting the well-being of partner communities through competitive and customer-responsive financial services.