Further to this, KWFT has been keen to offer free financial literacy to enable them to make informed financial decisions. When group clients join the Institution, they are assigned a loan officer who takes them through a vigorous 8 weeks training. They meet every week in their groups and are taught about group dynamics, saving, good borrowing practices, investing, ensuring business productivity, sustainability, profit making and proper loan repayment practices. KWFT loan officers also often do follow ups to ensure that the clients are making the right financial decisions in their businesses to foster sustainability.
To enhance sustainability, KWFT has incorporated the Triple Bottom Line approach that focus on the products ability to transform the customers’ lives (people), their impact on the environment (planet) and its ability generate returns (profit). In addition we have integrated the UN-Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Kenya’s Government Big Four Agenda.
These strategies have inspired the Institution to continue developing products and service that are aimed at improving our clients and their families’ livelihoods by upholding their dignity, saving them time and energy, conserving the environment as well as earning them income. KWFT’s great enthusiasm and dedication to transform the lives of our clients has seen the institution gain recognition both at the international and at the national level hence receiving numerous awards and recognition for various categories; they include:
- Financial Inclusion
- Sustainable Financing
- Best Company To Work For
- Youth Empowerment
- Innovation and Technology
- Women Empowerment
- Community Service
KWFT is 75% Kenyan-owned while 25% is owned by strategic social investors, this shows great confidence in the Institution as it gives the shareholders an opportunity to participate in the future earnings and rights issues of the bank.
Kenya Women Finance Bank PLC (KWFT) was established in 1981 as a credit only microfinance. This was an initiative propelled by group of passionate women from various professions namely; lawyers, bankers, financial experts, entrepreneurs and trainers who were driven by a common goal of establishing a financial institution that would be committed to exclusively address the financial and non-financial needs of the women in Kenya.
In 2008 it was incorporated as a KWFT DTM which a subsidiary of Kenya Women Holding (KWH) now Echo Network Africa (ENA) and commenced operations in 2009 after taking over the Microfinance business from KWH and later received a license for deposit taking business in March 2010 from Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).
In 2014, KWFT transformed to Kenya Women Microfinance Bank PLC (KWFT) following the amendment of the Microfinance Act of 2006. KWFT is now operating as a fully-fledged microfinance bank.
From humble beginnings of just two offices in Karatina and Kilifi, the Institution takes pride to have grown in leaps and bounds over the last 40 years to its current presence of 229 offices spread in 45 out of the 47 counties in Kenya