The process of acquiring bank loans comes with so many demands and risks for women. This prompted Women Cross Border Traders (WCBTs) at the border points of Taveta, Namanga, Mutukula, Busia and Katuna to come together to form village savings schemes also known as table banking in Kenya. The women reached the decision after sensitization on different sources of capital by EASSI. Table banking is where the traders organized in a WCBT Association come together on agreed number of times per month to contribute a stipulated amount of money; which is then collected and put into a savings account.
The association members agree on how to invest the savings. The Taveta association mainly gives the collected amount to a member on a rotational basis and also lends out at a 10% interest rate. This scheme has helped association members boost their businesses, educate their children and even construct houses. Other borders use the savings to engage in group businesses such as Namanga. In Katuna the money is lent out at low interest rates to the members who return in within a stipulated time frame for another round of lending. This has helped generate more money for the association and finance some of the association’s activities such as printing identity cards for the members. The savings scheme has expounded on the women’s skills in record keeping, business management and personal finance planning.
Esther Wausi lived in a rental house with her family and ever since she joined Taveta women cross border traders and started getting the table banking loans, she has built her home which is now near completion. This she says, will enable her save the money she gets from her business because she will no longer spend on rental fees.