“In Africa, there is nothing as important as empowering a woman. When you empower a woman, it’s as if you are helping the whole country. The Kenyan Women Microfinance Bank has empowered me with many things: with education, with knowledge and with money.”- Grace Njoroge
Grace Njoroge uses the loans from KWFT to buy fabric and accesories. Photograph: Opmeer Report.
Grace Njoroge is an entrepreneur, wife, and mother of three sons living in a town northeast of Nairobi called Thika. Like many other Kenyan women, she was struggling to sustain and grow her business and care for her family. As her hardware business continued to struggle, she decided to move into something more familiar: textiles. However, she was lacking the necessary capital and expertise not only to establish her new business, but to ensure that it thrived.
The Kenyan Women Microfinance Bank (KWFT)
In 1996 Grace joined the Kenya Women Microfinance Bank (formerly known as Kenya Women Finance Trust or KWFT). KWFT is a microfinance institution founded in 1981 by a small group of women and provides loans and savings products to more than 500,000 women in Kenya.KWFT’s focus on empowering women through ensuring greater access to capital attracted Oikocredit to partner with them in in 2010. Microfinance increases women’s abilities to make choices and become self-reliant. In addition, it is linked to poverty reduction, financial sustainability, an increased well-being, and social and political empowerment for women.