Some 30 years ago, a small group of Imenti South district tea farmers made a decision to form a savings and credit co-operative (Sacco), through which they would help each other with affordable loans to give their children good education and uplift their own livelihoods as well.
Thus, on September 23, 1991, they registered South Imenti Tea Growers Sacco Limited. With a membership of barely 200, their initial contribution amounted to some Ksh200,000.
The Sacco set up one outlet at Nkubu market. It was strictly serving tea farmers from Imenti South district then, and operated only back office services.
Now 30 years later, the Sacco has about 56,000 members, has an asset base of Ksh4.3 billion, and also offers front office service activity (FOSA), meaning that it provides banking services.
The journey has involved a number of notable milestones, achievements and activities.
In the year 2000, for example, the Sacco purchases its own building in Nkubu town. The building hosts its head office and main outlet.
Four years later in 2004, it established a micro-finance wing to begin lending money to groups. Currently, there are 200 active groups that use this service.
Come 2010, South Imenti Tea Growers Sacco Limited rebranded to Yetu Sacco Society Limited, and opened its common bond to accommodate members beyond the tea sector and the physical boundaries of Meru County.
The establishment of Yetu Pamoja Investment Co-operative Society followed in 2011.
To take services closer to its expanding geography of service, Yetu Saccoestablished an agency banking service. It is known as Yetu Agency, which runs a network of small outlets in the different areas where the Sacco members are located.
Hence, as the Sacco marks its 30th anniversary, it does so with pride, inspiration and encouragement that it stands on a strong pedestal that can only support further growth.
“Since inception, the Sacco has never looked back. Neither has it hesitated to conquer. We have grown geographically, expanded
our products’ quality and range, and improved delivery of services. We have held onto our values of Integrity, Teamwork, Equity, Professionalism, Innovation, Accountability, Quality Customer Service and
Social Responsibility,” says the chairman, Mark Gitonga.
He continues: “Our dream started with a seed capital of Ksh200,000, but through an innovative savings mobilisation culture and opening of the bond, growth has been accelerated, with members’ deposits now standing at Ksh2.7 billion. Today, we celebrate a Sacco with a loan book and other assets that have grown to Ksh4.3 billion, making us the fastest growing Sacco in the country under Tier-2.”
The details of the Sacco’s inspirational growth story is captured in this souvenir PDF, which you may download and read, and re-read, at preferred times.