NASIRA is a risk sharing facility for local financial institutions. It offers a portfolio guarantee to stimulate lending to underserved segments.
The risk-sharing facility will be used for I&M Bank’s MSME portfolio, as it aims to expand its outreach to MSMEs as part of its current iMara strategy.
“The past years have shown how NASIRA guarantees and accompanying technical assistance can play an important role to reduce inequality by supporting the financing to promising female, young and migrant entrepreneurs in the European Neighbourhood and Sub-Saharan Africa.”
Kenyan MSMEs—in particular youth-and women-owned businesses—are a focal driver of the country’s economy, contributing to over one-third of Kenya’s GDP. However, these entrepreneurs continue to face constrains in accessing financial services.
“This latest guarantee is perfectly aligned with our strategy, and contributes to SDGs 8 and 10 for Decent Work and Economic Growth, as well as Reduced Inequalities,” Huib-Jan de Ruijter, Chief Investment Officer FMO, said.
“We look forward to extending our mandate through NASIRA with the opening of the EFSD+ this year, significantly increasing our contribution to inclusive growth, job creation, and sustainable development across a wider range of geographies and sectors.”
“I&M Bank anchors its business model on empowering prosperity for all its stakeholders. We strongly believe that the guarantee from FMO will help our (M)SME clients accelerate their business growth and support their expansion efforts, while providing support to those clients negatively impacted by COVID-19,” Kihara Maina, CEO of I&M Bank, Kenya said.
In particular, NASIRA focuses on groups such as young, female, migrant, and COVID-19-affected workers who have often remained underbanked because of both perceived and real risks (such as lack of collateral and credit history).
Through the risk-sharing facility, NASIRA reduces these risk local financial institutions face and eliminates the hurdle by offering to share future credit losses, allowing granting much-needed financing for microenterprises and SMEs.
The NASIRA facility will also include Capacity Development and Technical Assistance support through non-financial services such as business digitization, enhancing MSME lending practices, financial literacy, and more.