Rafode use innovative technology to empower and dignify rural communities in Western Kenya

At Musoni, we celebrate the success of our clients and it is for this reason that we highlight the great work of those organizations using the Musoni system. Our focus this time around is on Rafode, who have been using the Musoni System since 2013. Rafode was founded in 2006 with the goal of reducing poverty in rural communities in Kenya. While they serve both women and men, their focus has been to serve the bottom of the pyramid and in particular women who don’t have access to financial services. Presently, 70% of Rafode’s clients are women.

Operating in Western Kenya, Rafode now has three branches in Kisumu, Kisii, and Awendo, and a satellite branch in Kakamega. This esteemed organization is determined to promote financial inclusion in rural areas by offering loans and saving products mostly to female entrepreneurs engaging in petty businesses like tailoring, hawking, running kiosks and working in agriculture. To serve these communities, Rafode offers five loan products in the market consisting of school (Masomo) loans, business (Inuka) loans, emergency (Okoa) loans, solar (Mwangaza) loans, and agricultural loans. Rafode has partnered with MicroEnsure to reduce its risks in this region and provide excellent service to its clients.

We have benefited exceedingly since we started using this technology. Our productivity has increased as the system is very user-friendly. Our data quality has improved and this has greatly reflected on our reports, guaranteeing transparency to our stakeholders and clients

Antony Mayodi, CEO Rafode

Since its inception, Rafode has seen technology as key in managing its operations efficiently and in 2013 decided to start working with the Musoni System. The switch to Musoni enabled Rafode to take advantage of Musoni’s integration with M-PESA, enabling clients to send and receive payments through their mobile phones. Rafode is looking at the possibility of a completely cashless operation, where clients and staff will be more secure. This will lead to a significant increase in efficiency and transparency within the organization.

In terms of milestones, in April 2010, Rafode won the Microfinance Transparency Award and is currently a member of the Kenyan Transparent Pricing InitiativeIn addition, Rafode has seen significant growth as a result of its use of innovative technology and strategic partnership with HIVOS, MESPT, SEMA, OXFAM Novib, USAID and SAFARICOM. Its client base has increased from 2000 clients in 2012 to 5600 clients in 2015 year-to-date. More so, Rafode has recorded approximately 5500 loan disbursements with a value of 450 million Kenyan shillings. The future of Rafode is promising. Currently, Rafode is raising funds of $300,000 to go towards financing their portfolio. They intend to expand outside western Kenya and to increase their client base to 7000 by year end. Also, Rafode will be rolling out SAFARICOM as they intend to integrate mobile money before year end.

Cameron Goldie-Scot, the CEO of Musoni added “Both Rafode and Musoni share a common goal of using innovative technology to promote financial access in rural communities. Musoni will continue to support Rafode by offering a robust platform which enables them to remain cashless and guaranteeing the quality of their data. We look forward to working with them for many years to come.”