The miracle of company growth from a meager Sacco loan

By Elkanah Nyauma

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Recco Education Centre started with 3 students and one tutor but has since graduated many students to both local and international universities and colleges.

The centre runs as a full-day center preparing adult learners for private examinations in both the international and local curriculum.

Recco was established in 2008 by a group of teachers and counselors from the Nairobi environs. This was possible through a loan that was received from Mwalimu Coop Society that enabled the company to pay advance premise rent for 4 months, buy office furniture, and install internet in the office.

Rose Njoroge, Founder and Director, Recco Education Centre

Recco has now diversified into a Taxi and Tours Company, a centre for hiring graduation gowns, and a language and computer learning centre.

“Saccos give us a wide range of opportunities for investment in different areas for example housing, land buying, education, investment in transport, farming, fixed deposits and the dividends that come when you really need them”, says Recco director Rose Njoroge. “Recco owes its growth to the power of group savings. Unity is our strength – Hongera Mwalimu Sacco”, she adds.

Mwalimu Sacco
Photo: Mwalimu Sacco AGM

Mwalimu National Sacco provided the best case study being one of the largest Sacco’s in Kenya with a department specializing in provision of loans specifically to support members willing to venture in businesses. (University of Nairobi, 2015).

Facts about SACCOs in Kenya

The cooperatives have been recognized as one of the best channels in enhancing both agricultural and non-agricultural productivity through trade and distribution of farm inputs.

Saccos are acting as a financial pillows for many Kenyans out there.

For many others, Saccos are a place of refuge for stormy days while for other people, they are the source of capital for starting a business, paying fees or even owning a home.

Savings and credit societies are among the main wellsprings of credit for economic advancement in the country. President Uhuru Kenyatta has recently celebrated the Sacco’s role in the country’s progress, and citing how they account for 45% of Kenyans’ Gross Domestic Product, GDP and 30% of national deposits and savings, both directly and indirectly.

Cooperatives can help in the realization of industrialization in rural areas through the value addition of agricultural products and marketing, for example in coffee and dairy sectors.

Cooperatives create employment for many Kenyans each year therefore contributing to the achievement of development in the country.

These days savings and credit cooperatives not only provide loans to their members, they also provide funding opportunities, agricultural and housing solutions to farmers and people respectively and so much more. This eventually leads to increased socio-economic development.

Opinion: Ways to increase more Sacco’s participation in development

Saccos should train their members on the best investment opportunities. They should offer them advanced business management skills so they can utilize the loan products well because many still do not know. This will help them to avoid defaulting on their loan contracts.

Kenyan Saccos should keep providing business loans to aspiring entrepreneurs and this will help in the growth of entrepreneurship in the country. The credit societies should also provide these business people with training on managing their businesses because studies have proved that credit alone is not a guarantee that the businesses ventures will always succeed.

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