COVID 19 New Normal Online Business

Extending Socio Economic Resilience to Self Help Groups, Village Savings and Loan Associations and other Grassroots Table Banking Initiatives

COVID 19 has caused huge impact on self- help groups, village savings and loan associations, merry go rounds and table banking initiatives. Through the Qivuli COVID 19 program, we are rolling out a custom digital platform that will reorganize such groups and initiatives to resume their socio economic activities with the possibility for improved socio economic outcomes.

Village Savings and Loan Association Groups exist across the country in diverse forms. Before the pandemic these groups would meet every week to contribute savings and allow members to borrow from the weekly savings contributed. Group members contribute savings for a whole year with savings kept in a home safe box to be broken at the end of the year so members can share out the accumulated savings before the next annual savings cycle begins.

The good thing about the different types of self-help groups and table banking initiatives is that they are village or estate based and the members easily meet each week to discuss welfare issues, contribute savings and access credit.

At the end of the year members benefit from accumulated savings during the share out.

Gaps and Lost Opportunities

The groups fail to utilize funding opportunities in banks and SACCOS for failing to bank their weekly savings and create a strong deposit profile with the bank. On the basis of a strong deposit profile, the groups could access credit for business start-ups.

Individual members borrowing and loan repayment history not documented to help individual members prove their credit worth to financial institutions for further financial support to start and expand business enterprises.

90 % of the loans taken by individual members each week is never used for business purposes rather for other household needs. This does not create meaningful economic impact for the borrowers’ year in year out. With financial literacy and business support through the Qivuli interventions, this can be changed to increase economic empowerment of the individual members.

At the end of the year when the final share out is done, the group fails to invest in business. Many times the groups eat out the savings benefits through unnecessary party celebration costs which have become a trend, creating competition among different village savings groups, each spending more of their savings to outshine the other. Qivuli Cha Faraja initiative is seeking to change this trend, to help the groups capitalize on their population strength and savings pool to get into meaningful profitable business.


As a result of the new normal the groups’ weekly activities have seriously been affected. The Qivuli Cha Faraja platform introduces the digital savings program to allow members to deposit savings through different digital payment systems and borrow from the pool each week through the digital platform. This establishes official documentation of the groups’ weekly transactions and individuals’ deposits and withdrawal transactions creating the necessary credit worth profile to leverage access to other formal business funding options provided by commercial banks and government affirmative action fund facilities including National Government Affirmative Action Fund, County Government Trade Revolving Fund and Social Service Fund, Youth and Women Enterprise Fund.

Both groups and individual group members’ will be assisted to develop a business plan to be implemented through the weekly borrowings and savings share out. Fundraising campaigns to support the groups’ business plan will be developed and run on the Qivuli Crowdfunding platform. The fundraising campaigns will run for at least 6 months. Different groups will be competing in savings and crowdfunding contributions to win the Qivuli awards. In the end more money is saved and more money is generated from the crowdfunding competition by each of the participating groups. Complemented by the various financial and non-financial awards, the chances for growing the groups businesses is significantly increased with economic benefits extended to individual group members.

Access to Government Procurement Opportunities – AGPO

The Kenya Government 30% Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO), affirmative action for youth, women and PWDs SMEs comes in very handy to mitigate COVID 19 negative economic impact especially among vulnerable population groups. Apart from the capacity issues inhibiting the targeted population groups, this window of opportunity continues to be abused by senior government officers at the expense of the targeted vulnerable population groups.

Qivuli Cha Faraja initiative offers both capacity building and governance accountability intervention to help communities, mitigate COVID – 19 socio economic challenges and build long term resilience.

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