Small and medium-sized enterprises in Nakuru County have enjoyed a loan portfolio of Sh4 billion from Jamii Bora Bank in a bid to expand their businesses.
The massive injection of cash in the county comes at a time when Nakuru town is gearing up to attain a city status by early next year.
“The arrival of Jamii Bora Bank in Nakuru town is a big boon to the business community and especially the budding youthful traders seeking to get cheaper loans to expand their businesses and create more job opportunities,” said Mr Esekon Moses, a resident of the town.
Mr Esekon said many established banks were frustrating youths seeking cheaper loans by demanding collateral such as title deeds, financial bank statements among other demands which most youths don’t have.
When the bank started penetrating the lucrative investment market in the cosmopolitan county in 2015, the lender’s loan portfolio stood at Sh150 million.
However, with Nakuru County becoming the preferred investor destination, the bank has been forced to increase its loan disbursement to cater for the increasing number of clients seeking services at the bank.
The bank has more than 10,000 customers in the region while countrywide it enjoys a customer base of more than 125,000.
“As a bank we shall continue to support the business community in the region to enable them play a crucial role in the overall improvement of the local and national economy,” said Jamii Bora chief executive officer Samuel Kimani.
He was speaking in Nakuru town on Friday when he opened the bank’s 18th branch.
He assured clients that despite the harsh economic times, the bank will strive to come up with new products that help them expand their businesses.
“We have Boresha loan that is a unique product as we shall use the stock you have in your shop to advance you any amount of loan without asking for any collateral,” said Mr Kimani.
He said the Boresha loan facility started in September last year and already the bank has disbursed more than Sh600 million to its rising number of clients.
“Boresha loan is popular with our traders and every month we are giving out Sh150 million and by the end of the year we hope to hit the Sh1 billion mark,” said Mr Kimani.
He said the bank will continue to invest in the region in a bid to tap into the rural areas where millions are still not accessing banking facilities.
“Our over 10,000 Nakuru customers have supported Jamii Bora Bank wholeheartedly and I promise you we shall not let you down,” said Mr Kimani.
Nakuru County executive in charge of Trade, Tourism and Co-operatives Dr Peter Ketyenya said the opening of the new branch in the region was a show of confidence the bank had with the business community.
“As a county we shall ensure there is conducive business environment for all investors opening shop in Nakuru,” said Dr Ketyenya.
Deputy Governor Dr Eric Korir called on other lenders to emulate Jamii Bora Bank by issuing business-friendly loans to youths, women and the disabled.
“With the changing landscape of Nakuru town becoming a city soon, there will be more investment opportunities for the local and other investors and banks like Jamii Bora will play a critical role in taking Nakuru to the next level of development,” said Dr Korir.