MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Barclays Bank and International Development Organizations CARE International and Plan International Launch Joint Microfinance Initiative in Kenya

Barclays, a UK-based international investment bank, and international development organizations CARE International (CARE) and Plan International (Plan) have jointly launched a microfinance initiative in Kenya with the goal of reaching 100,000 people in seven districts in Eastern and Nyanza provinces. The three organizations forged a partnership in September 2008 along with management consulting firm, Accenture, to address access to basic savings and loans products. According to Barclays’s website, the initiative begun in September 2008 aims to enable 500,000 poor and vulnerable people in a number of countries across Africa, Asia and South America to access community-based financial services, such as village savings and loans associations. Barclays pledged to invest GBP 10 million (USD 15 million) over three years on the initiative.

The project in Kenya will be predominantly based on the group saving and loan (GS&L) model where members of a community come together to save and to jointly access loans. The Barclays Regional Managing Director for East and West Africa, Adan Mohamed, said, “Over the course of three years, the project here in Kenya will seek to create over 4,000 GS&L groups in the seven districts. In so doing we are aiming to increase financial literacy, improve the quality of life and enhance household income.”

By: Christine Chang, Research Associate

About Barclays:

Barclays Plc is a British bank which dates back to 1690. It reported total assets of over GBP 1.4 trillion (USD 2.1 trillion) in 2009. The bank entered the microfinance sector in 2005 via a pilot program in Ghana. Barclays is developing a microfinance policy for the expansion of the bank’s microfinance activities. Its goal is to create more financial inclusiveness through an adaptation of its own services to fit the specific areas where it operates.

About CARE International (CARE):

CARE International (CARE) is a Switzerland-based global non-governmental organization with poverty reduction programs aimed at developing women’s economic capabilities. Founded in 1945 and originally established as a means to send supplies to post-war Europe from America, it has evolved into a large-scale humanitarian organization. As of June 30, 2009, CARE supported 800 poverty-fighting projects in 72 countries to reach 59 million people. It reported total assets of USD 952 million at that time.

About Plan International (Plan):
Founded 70 years ago, Plan International (Plan) is a UK-based children’s development organization. It works in 48 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas with the goal of promoting child rights and lifting children out of poverty. Plan works with 3.5 million families each year. Plan has no religious, political or governmental affiliations. As of June 30, 2009, Plan had total assets of EUR 217 million (USD 290 million). Plan’s expenditure on programs was EUR 348 million (USD 466 million).

Additional Resources:

Kenya Broadcasting Corporation website: Barclays and international development organisations CARE International (CARE) and Plan, Friday launched Banking on Change in Kenya, April 9, 2010: http://www.kbc.co.ke/story.asp?ID=63273

MicroCapital Universe: Barclays: https://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Barclays

MicroCapital Universe: CARE International (CARE): https://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=CARE+International

MicroCapital Universe: Plan International (Plan): https://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Plan+International

Barclays website: A global partnership to boost village financial services for 500,000 rural people in ten countries: http://group.barclays.com/Sustainability/Reporting/Sustainability-Report-2008/Our-sustainability-themes/Inclusive-banking/CaseStudy/1231782140022.html

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