Five Talents UK provides savings schemes, small loans, and business training for those in need in rural Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. We make use of a modern, hybrid form of savings and credit based microfinance that relies on local partners, enterprising clients, and an innovative use of technology.
This page provides an outline of our model, and you can dive into more detail via the links on the left.
One of the most important things you need to know is that all of our programmes operate through experienced local partners. These are the people who understand the needs and aspirations of their clients, and are trusted intimately within their local communities. We see this is one of the central reasons for our growth over the past decade.
- In Kenya we operate through independent Community Development Trusts (microfinance can be a bit jargon heavy, so we've put together this glossary to help): Thika CDT, Embu CDT and Nakuru CDT.
- In Tanzania our partner is the Mama Bahati Foundation.
- In Uganda our principle partner in the past has been Five Talents Uganda and we are planning pilot programmes in Karamoja.
All Five Talents' programmes have an emphasis on business training and encouraging people to save. Each programme is adapted to local needs and context, but two basic models are in operation:
- Credit-led microfinance: This is where the loan fund is provided from external capital by Five Talents (as per the programmes in Uganda and Tanzania).
- Savings-led microfinance: This is where the loan fund is made up of the accumulated savings of the group members themselves (as per the programme in Kenya).
- We link our savings-led microfinance programmes with business & financial literacy training and, increasingly, our mature programme partners offer consultancy to help new programmes replicate successfully.
GRASSROOTS GROUP SAVING & LENDING
Local banks cannot afford to lend small sums of money to many entrepreneurs who have little or no collateral. The risks are too high. They also find it difficult to provide affordable and convenient savings services for people at the bottom of the economic ladder.
Group saving and lending is a proven methodology of micro-enterprise development. Typically, groups are formed of 5-10 people who self-select each other. Each member of the group encourages savings and co-guarantees the loans of the others. This peer pressure ensures transparency and - for the loans - high repayment rates, averaging 90-100%.
The group method also provides a great platform for training and reduces the costs of administration, monitoring and follow-up.
Click here to read more about our how the groups work.