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Work

Financially Enabling Smallholder Farmers

Jamii Bora Bank (JBB) is Kenya’s fastest growing bank. Its vision is to develop the most innovative financial service delivery platform that will transform lives across Africa.
Client
Jamii Bora Bank & Grameen Foundation
Service
New product development, Research insights
Sector
Financial inclusion
Project Team
Sarah Hassanen's profile'
Richard Amwayi's profile'

JBB has aggressive growth goals, with the aim of reaching 6 million customers by 2018. Kenya’s agricultural industry has been identified as a driver towards achieving this growth and it offers JBB opportunities for innovation in the way they service their current and future customers.

Based on this, there was an opportunity to better understand the financial service needs of small-scale farmers who make up most of the 75% of the Kenyan population that derive their livelihoods from the agricultural sector.

Key voices from JBB were selected to join Grameen Foundation's multidisciplinary innovation team, also known as AppLabMoney Kenya (AMK) with ThinkPlace Kenya leading the design. By taking a human-centred approach, we understood both end-user and commercial bank needs, drivers, behaviours, as well as leveraged industry experts to co-design solutions that will have the highest potential for sustainability, scalability and impact.

We shadowed and interviewed smallholder farmers across 8 locations and 3 climatic zones across Kenya with interviews being conducted in up to 7 different languages . We ran various workshops throughout the project, where we brought all the insights from across the board to develop 14 innovative concepts.

The final solution combined two concepts based around asset financing and maintenance and a community agent to deliver the final solution to farmers. ThinkPlace helped detail the operational blueprint including risks, mitigations, key delivery elements, process mapping and a high level future roadmap. The pilot launched in November 2014 focussing on dairy cow financing based on the needs identified in the research with the hopes of increasing financial inclusion and income generation amongst smallholder farmers in Kenya.

Statistics

For 76% of the rural population, the nearest financial services provider is a mobile money agent.

About 55% of the rural population takes more than 30 min to get to the nearest bank branch, a number which drops to 22% for mobile money agents.