Blog

Filter your results by:

Blog

In Kenya, phones replace bank tellers

Pauline Kimari is a pharmacist in Ndaragwa, Kenya, a small town several hours’ drive north of Nairobi. She moved there from rural Muranga, several hours away, to open a small shop, Ndaragwa Joy Chemist. It is white with blue and green doors and a blue bench inside. She sells medicine and cosmetics.

Read more
Blog

Making markets work for the poor — Science, Art or Speculation?

As an adviser, trainer and all-round advocate of the “making markets work for the poor” approach to more effective development, I get asked a lot of questions about the approach.

Read more
Blog

Market facilitation is the way ahead, but it needs to do more

Market facilitation can (and does) work

Kenya is a good place to start when considering market facilitation. It is the poster child of financial inclusion, with access to formal finance growing dramatically from 27 percent in 2006 to 75 percent in 2016.

Read more
Blog

Creating value through financial inclusion: the trust element

In an effort to understand the real needs of the people, our seventh ‘Field Friday’ exercise took us to Karagita in Naivasha. We set out to gather insights on which financial services people use and which ones they trust most.

Read more
Blog

It takes a village: Lessons from digitizing social school fees payments

Our work on the Kenya Financial Diaries made it painfully clear to us that school fees are incredibly expensive for low income families.  The lowest end public schools often ask about KSh 20,000 per year for a single student, when rural household incomes often average around KSh 6,000 per month.

Read more
Annual Lectures

Out of Africa: notes from a visit to Kenya

I spent a week in Kenya, courtesy of Financial Sector Deepening, an initiative of a number of aid agencies, including Britain’s Department for International Development, the Swedish government, and the Gates Foundation. 

Read more
Blog

Trust—Is there an app for that?

Last year, I sat huddled with Esther in the back of her dark market stall.  The walls were lined floor to ceiling with second hand bras for sale, leaving only a small space for us to sit and chat.  Esther was coming through a rough few years.  Her husband unexpectedly and quickly died from meningitis.

Read more
Annual Lectures

Kay gets perspective on informal sector in Kibera

During his visit for the FSD Kenya 3rd annual lecture, John Kay visited Haki Group, a Self Help Group registered in 2002 but graduated to a Community Based Organization in 2005 to mitigate the effects of HIV/AIDS in Kibera.

Read more
Annual Lectures

The annual FSD Kenya lectures on financial inclusion

Over the past 10 years, FSD Kenya has worked to support the development of financial inclusion in Kenya. In 2015, we launched a series of annual public lectures on financial inclusion.  Our aim is to stimulate debate on this subject and its place in the long-term vision for the financial sector in Kenya.

Read more
Annual Lectures

PICTURES: Kay and industry leaders discuss the future of finance

Just what is finance for?

On Wednesday 8th February 2017, John Kay met with 18 financial sector industry leaders to discuss this question and the future of finance in Kenya.

Read more
Blog

Studying shocks to identify opportunities for financial service providers

Diversification of risk, not putting your eggs in one basket, hustling – whichever word or phrase you use, Robert, a boda boda (motorcycle taxi) rider, embodies this spirit.

Read more
Blog

The unusual dynamics of school fee payment (or non-payment) in a Kenyan school

As we trudged through Kivani Secondary School’s third term student attendance records, one absenteeism after another greeted us. Per our analysis in preparation for Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with selected parents and guardians at the school, the average student missed about 13% of class time. I didn’t give it much thought then.

Read more
Blog

The tea bonus: a blessing or a growing dependency? Tea farmers from Embu tell their story

This year, the price of a kilo of tea reached a five-year high. Every October, tea farmers in Kenya receive a “tea bonus”; the second lump sum payment for tea delivered to the Kenya Tea Development Authority (KTDA) during the year. The first lump sum, the “mini bonus”, is paid each April.

Read more
Blog

Life in Laisamis, Marsabit

Meet Najiri: One of the target recipients for FSD Kenya’s new graduation programme.

The sun is bright in Marsabit, the kind of bright that sears anything its rays touch. There isn’t much rain here, most parts of the county are arid.

Read more
Blog

The use of borrowed airtime with interest in Kenya

The telecom sector in Kenya has experienced phenomenal growth over the past decade. Mobile phone penetration has topped 90%, with 78% of Kenyan adults now owning a working mobile phone.

Read more
Blog

Six secrets of the self-employed

This is the second post in a three-post blog series introducing publications from our recently concluded Kenya Financial Diaries update study, conducted with BFA.

Read more
Blog

Informal vs formal: The need for financial services to complement, not compete

Our third “Field Friday” exercise reveals lessons for formal financial service providers to learn from informal services.

Read more
Blog

Where are they now?

Over the next three weeks, we will be releasing three publications based on findings from the Kenya Financial Diaries Update, a follow up study with the Kenya Financial Diaries households.

Read more
Blog

Four differences and five similarities of digital credit markets in Kenya and Tanzania

While both Kenya and Tanzania registered fast uptake of digital credit, a new study by FSD Kenya and CGAP with almost 8000 individuals found considerable differences as well as similarities in the adoption and use of digital credit in the two countries.

Read more
Blog

Using non-financial services to help banks and businesses build better relationships

How the use of non-financial services can help bankers deliver effective financing.

Poor communication between entrepreneurs and their bankers is often a stumbling block in the delivery of effective financing for enterprise growth throughout the world. The use of non-financial services (NFS) can help with this.

Read more
Blog

“The three padlocks”: Digitising the savings groups’ money box

Can digital innovations replicate the “three-padlock” concept of the money box?

Read more
Blog

Transparency in finance: Is it a matter of life and death?

Financial institutions play a key role in enhancing trust in the financial system

Read more
Blog

Interest rates cap: views from Kawangware

Why residents of Kawangware welcome the interest rate cap

Read more
Blog

From observations to opportunities: How the voice of the customer can guide innovation

To increase access to finance in the agricultural sector, various players have implemented initiatives to help smallholder farmers and pastoralists to access financial solutions. The many initiatives over time have had varying degrees of success.

Read more
Blog

Beyond the pricetag: The real benefits of off-grid solar

Exploring the affordability and value of solar home solutions.

Read more
Blog

What do people get out of gambling?

Sports gambling is an equal opportunity pleasure

Beyond the immediate rewards of 1) the euphoria of winning small amounts, and 2) the dream of one day hitting the jackpot, other motivations and benefits of participation in gambling include earning side money from sports research, increased social interaction, and, eventually, greater exposure to other features on the internet.

Read more

Our partners

Stay informed with monthly updates from FSD Kenya

Subscribe to our mailing list