Kiva conducts regular, ongoing monitoring of all Field Partners, but only posts status updates here in response to relevant, major changes at the partner.

Partner Description:


SMEP Microfinance Bank is a leading Christian microfinance organization in Kenya. Operating since 1999, SMEP hopes to empower Kenyans and alleviate poverty. Through innovation, it plans to continue to redefine and reinvent its systems to respond to the evolving and active Kenyan marketplace. SMEP aims to maintain a strong, dynamic, customer-centric institution that is a reliable financial partner to all of its customers.

Because of this well established infrastructure, SMEP is able to serve 135,000 clients with a total portfolio of over KES 1.4 billion (US$16.3 million). It is a nationwide institution with 20 branches and 13 satellites covering all major towns in Kenya.

The primary goal of SMEP is to improve the standard of living of economically poor and marginalized entrepreneurs by providing access to credit and other services that can stimulate economic growth. In the long run, SMEP hopes to increase income generating activities among low income entrepreneurs, improve the business management skills of its clients and create an economically sustainable credit program.

SMEP’s unique lending approach:

SMEP’s two main product categories of credit include group and retail loans. These loans are given to micro and small entrepreneurs who have registered with self-help groups and have complied with SMEP group rules and regulations.


These loans average in size from KES 25,000 to KES 3 million (US$292 to $35,000). To protect clients’ interests, these loans are not secured by conventional collateral such as land title deeds or vehicles. Instead, group members guarantee one another. SMEP’s loan portfolio is focused on financing small businesses or micro enterprises operated by low income individuals.

In 2009, SMEP achieved a major milestone by partnering with Safaricom to enable its clients to repay their loans using mobile transaction service M-PESA. 

In 2010, SMEP underwent another transformation. It made the transition from a credit-only institution to one that can also take deposits. To account for this, SMEP has opened branch facilities where its clients can not only receive and pay back loans, but also deposit money into savings accounts.

Repayment Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Start Date On Kiva Jul 18, 2009 Oct 12, 2005
Total Loans $4,226,000 $750,616,275
Amount of raised Inactive loans $0 $601,200
Number of raised Inactive loans 0 1,260
Amount of Paying Back Loans $1,351,500 $130,859,825
Number of Paying Back Loans 3,205 152,433
Amount of Ended Loans $2,874,500 $619,155,250
Number of Ended Loans 8,091 767,542
Delinquency Rate 12.22% 8.21%
Amount in Arrears $104,865 $6,919,450
Outstanding Portfolio $858,048 $84,256,349
Number of Loans Delinquent 669 23,069
Default Rate 0.28% 1.25%
Amount of Ended Loans Defaulted $8,068 $7,750,931
Amount of Ended Loans $2,874,500 $619,155,250
Number of Ended Loans Defaulted 69 21,117
Currency Exchange Loss Rate 0.26% 0.33%
Amount of Currency Exchange Loss $10,856 $2,478,516
Refund Rate 0.39% 0.66%
Amount of Refunded Loans $16,675 $4,973,325
Number of Refunded Loans 31 5,474

Loan Characteristics On Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Loans to Women Borrowers 61.61% 74.49%
Average Loan Size $374 $416
Average Individual Loan Size $374 $649
Average Group Loan Size $1,370 $1,847
Average number of borrowers per group 5.8 7.9
Average GDP per capita (PPP) in local country $1,800 $5,948
Average Loan Size / GDP per capita (PPP) 20.77% 6.99%
Average Time to Fund a Loan 6.7 days 6.62 days
Average Dollars Raised Per Day Per Loan $55.81 $62.73
  Average Loan Term 9.28 months 10.84 months

Journaling Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Total Journals 3,009 370,643
  Journaling Rate 30.25% 41.21%
  Average Number of Comments Per Journal 0.01 0.06
  Average Number of Recommendations Per Journal 0.01 1.49

Borrowing Cost Comparison (based on 2013 data)

    This Field Partner Median for MFI's in Country All Kiva Partners
  Average Cost to Borrower 31% PY 36.00% PY 31.23% PY
  Profitability (return on assets) -3.98% 0.5% -1.58%
  Average Loan Size (% of per capita income) 40.10% 56.00% 19.24%

Country Fast Facts

Field Partner Staff

Mary Chege
Fridah Gakii njeru
Simon Kamore
Donata Makena
James Matito
Phylis Mbungu
Abel Michael
Tobias Mutua
Anthony Mwamburi
Jackline Ndwiga
Immaculate Wanjiru
Simon Wanjohi