Co-op Bank changing the business landscape with innovative MSME Business Loans

Are you a business owner running a Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)? Do you want to boost your business, but you’re falling short of funds?

Worry no more. Co-op Bank MSME business plus loans has you covered.

In partnership with International Finance Corporations, Co-op Bank has conducted numerous research to understand the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

The bank has developed a solution to help these entrepreneurs meet their needs and align with existing and new opportunities.

MSME Term Loan: What It Is?

An MSME term loan is the funds your business can secure to raise supply operations or expand your business.

The loans come with a repayment period between 12 to 60 months, depending on your business scale.

The bank offers both unsecured term loans and partially secured term loans.

According to Arthur Muchangi, the Director Retail & Business Banking at Cooperative Bank,

“Our message to MSMEs is simple; we have heard you. We have made available a substantial kitty of Sh15.2 Billion for a package of loans that include an unsecured business loan, a first of its kind in Kenya.

E-Credit through our MCo-op Cash App, where businesses can borrow up to Sh2 million via their mobile phone packaged insurance cover, which is handpicked and specifically negotiated to suit various segments under MSME, revised and pre-approved limits on overdrafts and loans.

The loans will be supported by trade services that include Letters of Credit, guarantees, supply chain financing, among others.”

What Are the Key Features of Co-op Bank MSME Current Account?

Co-op Bank MSME’s current account offers custom-tailored features that range from mobile loans, secured and unsecured overdrafts, insurance solutions, payment solutions, supply chain financing, credit cards, cheque book, internet banking, debit cards,

Mobile banking, dedicated relationship manager and non-financial services like training and networking.

Co-op Bank MSME solutions address the needs of entrepreneurs by providing three MSME account packages that address different requirements for their customers:

  • Gold: Offers a maximum of Ksh 10 million unsecured and Ksh 15 million for partially secured loans
  • Silver: A maximum loan of Ksh 6 million unsecured and Ksh 8 million for secured loans
  • Bronze: A maximum of Ksh 600,000 unsecured and Ksh 3 million secured loans

Unsecured loans have a repayment period of 24 months, while secured loans have a repayment period of up to 60 months.

In addition, all account holders get the following services from Co-op Bank:

  • Free monthly e-statements
  • Access to MSME asset solutions and daylight overdrafts
  • Free In-house standing orders
  • Bargainable FX conversion rates
  • SMS and Email alerts
  • Access to trade finance services.

What Are the Interest Rates Charged on Co-op Bank MSME Loans?

Co-op Bank charges MSME loans in two different ways; a customer can opt for any two.

Flat Rate MSME Loans

The loan attracts an interest rate of 13% per year with 2.5% appraisal fees. The loan comes with a maximum of 36 months and attracts no negotiation or application fees.

Reducing Balance MSME Loans

Loans attract an interest rate of 13% per annual with application fees of between Ksh 3 million to 15 million depending on the amount. The loan also attracts an appraisal fee of 3% and comes with a maximum tenor of 36 months.

Who Can Qualify for Co-op Bank MSME Loans?

Customers operating business accounts with Co-op Bank as individuals are eligible to apply for the MSME loans if they meet the following criteria:

  • A customer should have an account linked to MCo-op Cash
  • A customer should have zero non-performing loans with the bank
  • A customer should not be blacklisted by the CRB or on the bank’s blacklist
  • Should hold an account with Co-op Bank for at least six months.
  • Should be between the age of 18-65 years
  • Must hold accounts not overdrawn over the approved limit
  • Must not hold any arrears with the bank at the time of application
  • Should not have any blocked funds in their accounts
  • Should not have any of their loans with the bank written off

How to Apply for MSME Loan From Co-op Bank

If you’re not a Co-op Bank member, visit the local bank to open an account and start transacting to enjoy the benefits of MSME loans after six months.

For existing Co-op Bank members, use your MCo-opCash App or dial *667# and register to start the application if you qualify.

You can Download the MCo-opCash App from the google play store.

MCo-op Cash: Bringing the basics of traditional banking to your home!

Atop the list of innovations that have greatly revolutionized human lifestyles, is digital banking platforms. As it is, banking directly touches every sector – industrial, tourism, trade, education – and so on.

In trade, it’s a make or break deal – a robust digital banking platform makes alot of difference in cementing a clientele foundation.

Co-op Bank’s innovative online banking platform has wracked up a solid reputation with their mobile banking app, known as MCo-op Cash.

It’s readily available on free downloads from Playstore, for Android phone users. It’s built with easy-to-install, step-by-step activation process.

The app is basically a portal that allows a Co-op Bank client access to their account from anywhere across the globe.

What are some of the advantages of Co-op Bank online banking?

– It’s easy to view account balance.

– Check recent transactions.

– Make cash transfers to other accounts – within Co-op Bank or to other banks.

– Easily clear utility bills and subscriptions like power bills, water bills, internet and DSTV subscriptions. The app has preset payment data for several service providers.

– The app provides an interactive access between various bank accounts.

– The MCo-op Cash app allows a client to monitor multiple Visa and debit cards linked to the account.

For example, a Co-op Bank client can easily monitor or top up Visa cards used by a student – fast and securely.

– It’s easier to generate statements, that are conveniently sent to the registered email address, thereby cutting back time that would be used in applications at bank branch.

Co-op Bank online banking is not limited to MCo-op Cash app, on Android phones. It can be accessed through any internet-enabled gadgets like tablets and laptops.

Alternatively, for situations a client doesn’t have access to an internet connection, they can use Co-op Bank’s USSD number *667#.

This brings easy to follow prompts to access the account and make desired transactions.

How does a client register for Co-op Bank online banking?

– You can log in and transact using any internet-enabled device including mobile phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer.

Registration is INSTANT and FREE of charge. All you need is your National ID and any of your Co-op Bank ATM cards. To learn how, click here.

– You’ll create your own username and password, which you can re-set anytime in case you forget or feel the need to change.

– Every time you log in or do a transaction, you’ll have to enter an OTP (One Time Password) which is sent to your mobile number or email address.

– This is a security feature Co-op Bank has in place to keep accounts secure.

MCo-op Cash App is easy to navigate. Instantly, it avails all the basics of traditional banking to the user’s fingertips in the convenience of their homes.

Co-op Bank Group CEO bags ‘Best Bank CEO in Africa’ award

This has been a winning season for the Co-operative Bank of Kenya, with a number of accolades recorded in the period.

The Group Managing Director & CEO Dr Gideon Muriuki has been named Best Bank CEO in Africa at this year’s African Banking Awards organised by EMEA Finance.

Co-op Bank Group CEO Gideon Muriuki during a past event
Co-op Bank Group CEO Gideon Muriuki during a past event

The EMEA Finance Awards recognise corporate leaders and financial institutions which, through their client focus and sound leadership, continue to increase profitability, deliver affordable credit to the retail and wholesale markets, and support local and transnational corporations do business.

This year’s awards had a unique perspective in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, for which the Co-op Bank Group CEO was recognised for implementing key strategies to address challenges facing both businesses and households.

Dr Muriuki was recognised for the bold decision to sustain the payment of dividends to shareholders despite Covid-19, which offered a critical relief and most timely support to the over 15 million-member Cooperative movement.

In addition, the award recognised the decision by the Group CEO not to push for staff retrenchment and opting to retain full staff complement during the Pandemic.

To manage the disruption caused by the pandemic, the bank undertook a deep analysis to identify inefficiencies, which were resolved through redeployment of staff and other resources.

The awards also recognised the successful acquisition and stabilisation of Jamii Bora Bank (renamed Kingdom Bank) as it offered much-needed stability to the local financial sector.

The EMEA Awards committee also feted Dr Muriuki for driving sustainable credit-growth models that are designed in line with the Credit Risk Adaption Project advised by global consulting firm McKinsey.

In addition to the Best Bank CEO in Africa award to Dr. Muriuki, the EMEA Awards also awarded the Best Bank in Kenya Award to the Co-operative Bank, and the Best Asset Manager award to Co-opTrust Investment Services Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Co-op Bank.

With Kshs 181billion in assets under management, Co-op Trust is one of the largest and most successful locally-owned asset management firms in Kenya.

Co-op Bank leads the industry as it releases a 14 billion report for Year 2020

Co-op Bank Group is reporting a Profit before Tax of Kshs. 14. 3 Billion for the financial year 2020 compared to Kshs. 20. 7 Billion recorded in 2019, and a Profit after tax of Kshs 10.8 Billion compared to Kshs 14.3 Billion in 2019.

This is a 23% reduction on account of increased Covid 19-related loan loss provisions and the absorption of currency translation losses in our South Sudan operation.

The Group has taken loan loss provisions of Kshs. 8.1 Billion,being a 220% increase from Kshs. 2. 54 Billion in 2019 in appreciation of the challenges that businesses and households are grappling with from the disruptions occasioned by the ongoing pandemic.

We continue to actively engage our customers to support them through this period, by re-aligning the servicing of facilities, funding and transactional needs as the situation unfolds. A total of Kshs.49 Billion in loans have been restructured to support customers impacted by the pandemic.

The Group has sustained the Balance Sheet growth with an Asset Base of Kshs. 537 Billion as at 31st December 2020.

The Group continues to implement proactive enterprise risk management initiatives to ensure uninterrupted business operations in the following ways;

Fortification of our digital channels to support uninterrupted access to banking services by customers; over 92% of our services are now on alternative bankingchannels.

Enhancement of digitization of internal bank processes and engagement platforms, to build contactless capabilities for both customers andstaff.

Adoption of a work-from-home model for the safety and wellness of bank teams,and ensuring safe spaces for staff who continue to serve in physical touch points.

Robust engagement with regulators to ensure full compliance andsupport.

Key financial highlights include; –

Balance sheet; The Group has seen sustained Balance Sheet growth as hereunder;

Total Assets grew by Kshs 80 Billion (+18%) to Kshs. 537 Billion compared to Kshs 457 Billion in the same period last year.

Net loans and advances book grew by Kshs 20 Billion(+8%) from Kshs.266.7 Billion to Kshs. 286. 6Billion.

Investment in Government securities grew by Kshs.44. 1 Billion (+37%) to Kshs. 161.9 Billion compared to Kshs.117.8 Billion in 2019.

Customer deposits grew by 13.8% from Kshs. 332.8 Billion to Kshs 378.6 Billion.

Borrowed funds from development partners grew by Kshs. 19.6 Billion (74.2%) to Kshs 46 Billion from Kshs.26.4 Billion in2019.

Shareholders’ funds grew to Kshs. 90.7 Billion (+14.4%) from Kshs. 79.3 Billion in 2019 enabling us to continue pitching for big ticket deals.

Profit &Loss

Totaloperatingincomegrewby11.1%fromKshs48.5BilliontoKshs53.8 Billion.

Total non-interest income grew by 1.9% from Kshs 17.2 Billion to Kshs 17.5 Billion.

Net interest income grew by 16.1% from Kshs 31.3 Billion to Kshs 36.3 Billion.

Total operating expenses grew by 41.7% from Kshs 27.8 Billion to Kshs.39.4 Billion on account of higher loan loss provisions.

Innovative Customer DeliveryPlatforms

Through our multi-channel strategy, the Bank has successfully moved over 92% of all customer transactions to alternative delivery channels, an expanded 24-hour contact centre, mobile banking, 576 ATMs, internet banking and over 23,000 Co-op Kwa Jirani banking terminals.

A successful Universal Banking model and the implementation of Sales Force Effectiveness has seen the Group serve over 8.8 million Account holders across allsectors.

Key focus on digital banking,with the all-telco Meo-op Cash Mobile Wallet continuing to play a pivotal role in the growth of non-funded income with 5 Million customers registered and loans worth Kshs 58.5 Billion disbursed in 2020.

Over 116,000 customers have taken up the MSME packages that we rolled out in 2018, and 10,750 have been trained on business management and planning. We have earmarked Kshs 23.5 Billion for MSME lending, with Kshs.16.8 Billiondisbursed to date through our E-Creditsolution.

Our unique model of retail banking services through Sacco FOSAs enabled us provide wholesale financial services to over 479 FOSA outlets, and issue over 1.4 million Sacco-Linkcards.

Co-op Bank has engaged a global consulting firm to conduct a Credit Risk Adaptation Project named ‘Project Kilele’.

Key objectives of the project are:

End-to-end assessment of credit risk management practices by undertaking a comprehensive diagnostic review touching on each area of credit risk, including credit risk management framework with a key focus on riskgovernance, credit risk appetite, origination and underwriting process, credit approval process, credit scoring/rating models, and pricing.

Strengthen portfolio assessment and risk frameworks.

Enhance Collection platforms aligned to the new business operating environment.


Co-op Consultancy & Insurance Agency posted a Profit before tax of Kshs 788.6 Million as at 31st Dec 2020, riding on strong penetration of Bancassurance business.

Co-operative Bank of South Sudan that is a unique joint venture (JV)partnership with Government of South Sudan (Co-op Bank 51% and GOSS 49%) made a Profit before tax of Kshs 107.8 Million in 2020.

This performance however translated to a monetary loss of Kshs 1.65 Billion attributable to hyper inflation accounting occasioned by currency devaluation of the South Sudanese pound.

Co-op Trust Investment Services contributed Kshs. 70 Millionin Profit before tax in 2020, with Funds Under Management standing at Kshs. 127.5 Billion compared to Kshs. 102.1 Billion as at 31st December 2019.

Kingdom Bank (former Jamii Bora Bank) has a profit before tax loss of Kshs.76.3 Million for the year.

Kshs. 49 Billion Loans Restructured to Support Customers on Covid-19 With the Covid-19 crisis, the Bank has proactively engaged all customers and reviewed the following;

Customers requiring an interest moratorium period,

Customers requiring a better structure/longer repayment period, and,

Customers requiring additional funding to manage the crisis.

In total, a portfolio of over Kshs. 49 Billion has been re-aligned to offer our customers this much-needed support.

Kingdom Bank Limited

Kingdom Bank Limited is a fully-fledged Commercial Bank, licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Kenya, with over 444,000 customers in 17 branches.

The acquisition offers Co-op Bank the opportunity to cross-sell and deepen product offering to the enhanced customer base and create a niche bank to offer specialized credit offerings that include MSME Banking, Microfi nance, Youth & Women Banking, Asset Finance and Leasing.

The subsidiary reported a loss of Kshs.76.3 Million for the year 2020 and is expected to turn around its performance in 2021.


The Group secured a long-term financing facility from the IFC (International Finance Corporation) amounting to Kshs. 8.25 Billion for on-lending to MSMEs at affordable terms.

The proceeds of the facility will support customers to better cope with the disruptions brought about by the pandemic, especially those operating in the following key business areas;

Micro small and medium enterprises(MSMEs)

Businesses undertaking Climate-Smart Projects, including agricultural inputs and sustainable agricultural practices, renewable energy, energy efficiency and relatedareas.

Corporate Social investment

Co-operative Bank Foundation has provided Scholarships to gifted but needy students from all regions of Kenya.

The sponsorship includes; fully paid secondary education, full fees for University education, Internships and career openings for beneficiaries.

The foundation is fully funded by the bank and has so far supported 7,713 studentssince the inception of the program.

The bank gave a cash donation of Kshs. 100 Million to the Covid 19 Emergency Respond Fund.

Being cognizant of the huge role that we play in supporting communities especially during this period, we continue to operate in an economically, socially and environmentally-responsible manner.

Dividend Payment

While maintaining adequate capital buffers in light of the current operating environment, the Board of Directors has approved a dividend payment of Kshs. 1.00 per ordinary share held (2019 – Kshs 1.00) to be paid on or about 14th April 2021 to the shareholders registered on the Bank’s Register at the close of business on 31st March 2021.

This will be a much-needed relief in a pandemic year to the over 15 million­ member Co-operative movement that predominantly owns the bank.


It was another notable year as the Bank received recognition both locally and internationally, including the following;
Co-op Bank was named Bank of The Year in Kenya, in The FT Banker 2020 Awards run by the Financial Times of London.

Co-op Bank was named Best Bank in Kenya at the African Banking Awards 2020 organised by EMEA Finance.

This is the third time around, having also won in 2018 and 2019.

Co-op Bank signed up to the United for Wildlife 2018 Mansion House Declaration, thereby joining the United for Wildlife’s (UfW) Financial Taskforce committing to fight the illegal trafficking in wildlife, by way of building illegal wildlife trade into existing financial crime compliance programs.

How Co-op Banks efforts has helped thousands of Kenyans navigate the raging pandemic

The Work-from-Home clarion call due to the Covid-19 curfew and movement restrictions is no longer new. It’s palatable for a tiny fraction of the working group that had foreseen the lockdown, or live and work in the same county. That didn’t go down well for a large number, though.

The sudden announcement by the government caught a major section of the public by surprise. Quite a few had even travelled from the city to their rural homes.

Suddenly, there’s no access to their offices in the city, or even to their homes in within the city.

Working from home entails quite a set up. For instance, a decent internet connection – stable, and at a reasonable cost. It’s important, too, a good computer and other accessories. Good processing speeds, decent memory levels and security capabilities.

The pandemic has dealt a death blow to many businesses. There’s been a need to re-invent the wheel in more ways than one. One way for businesses to thrive is embracing digital transformation.

Digital-based businesses that seek to solve remote working experience issues have been thriving since – especially away from the city.

One such business, is Chestus Computer Consultants Ltd – Meru Town.

Chestus Computer Consultants is a vibrant digital-based firm in the heart of Meru County, providing quality products and services in the IT sector. The premise outlines their aim as helping clients adapt to technology change and streamline their operations.

The firm has steadily established a niche in the Eastern region as they serve walk-in individual clients and tendering organizations with dedicated commitment. Working with other technology partners, the firm has a vision to bring IT innovations and excellence to business operations – offering tailored solutions to different needs.

The Founder and CEO, Mr. Mugambi cites a significant rise of a new social media client base with related inquiries: laptops, Wi-Fi routers, Wifi-extender gadgets and other accessories.

On business challenges in the Covid-19 times, the CEO gives credit to a few financial decisions that were standard even before the crisis. The firm encourages cashless payments – which doubly acts as a means to curb the spread of the virus. This has been made easier by their all-present banking partner, Co-op Bank.

The bulk of their orders is made through social media and items are shipped after payment. Such payments are made via the firm’s M-Pesa till number which enables direct payment to a Co-op bank account.

Two things distinguish Co-op Bank as a partner: One, the bank assists their clients get M-Pesa till numbers fast, at no charge. Two, the payments to the account reflect instantly to allow fast delivery. This leads to more business.

At the shop premises, walk-in clients sanitize by the door – and get a free surgical mask.  All round, conspicuous signage show Co-op Bank’s M-Pesa pay bill number 400200. This, too, makes direct payment to the firm’s bank account. Some clients also transfer payments from their account via the M-Coop Cash App on their phones.

To get assistance in acquiring an M-Pesa till number for your business at no cost, visit the nearest Co-op Bank branch. One can also click here, to learn more about Co-op Bank’s E-commerce Business Solutions.


How fortunes turned around for an unemployed teacher from Kakamega County thanks to Co-Op Bank

A few weeks ago, the Education ministry delivered a bombshell in the school reopening tentative dates. January 2021! As expected, this bit was received with a lot of open-ended questions by the people directly involved – teachers, parents and students.

A lot of professionals have lost livelihoods in job losses, or hefty pay cuts. In Kenya, teachers in private institutions are in that quota. One has to be innovative to realize an alternative source of income to sustain life and families.

In a sleepy village in Kakamega, hails an enterprising teacher who’s taken up agribusiness with gusto.

A visit to Apex Farm in the outskirts of Kakamega Town is inspiring. Apex Farm is just a few months old, and owned by an energetic teacher previously running a private school in Westlands, Nairobi County.

When the pandemic took center stage last December leading to closure of schools across the nation, Wafula Elvis was devastated. He’d been teaching at the school for half a decade, and had a family of three. The school’s proprietor only managed a month’s salary after closing down.

Wafula had shifted his family upcountry. He’d thought wisely – the lockdown happened shortly after. His ancestral farm was unused and bare, and he had to think of projects to start – to create cash flow, sustain his family and have a positive impact on his community.

He’d zeroed in on two pursuits.

  1. Poultry – layers.
  2. Organic vegetables.

As with all fledgling projects, capital was the first hiccup in the plans.

For years, Wafula has been a Co-op Bank client, and his salary had been paid through his account here. He’d visited the local Co-op Branch and applied for a loan. After the necessary appraisals, his loan had been approved.

Further, the bank had facilitated an M-Pesa till number for his farm business on his behalf at no charge, which allows direct payments to his Co-op Bank account.

Looking back, Wafula pensively confides moving to the village and starting the agribusiness project was a life-changing decision.


The writer’s take:

I reach the Apex Farm metallic gate, and there’s no one in sight. I had called the owner beforehand. The gate swings open, and am on the lookout for dogs. None. The courtyard is filled with various duck varieties – Rouen, Muscovy – some turkeys and geese. It’s a beautiful sight, there’s a paddling pool!

Presently, I see a robust, lean-looking man waving from behind the walled section behind the house. I don’t need an introduction – it’s the owner, Mr. Elvis Wafula.

He’s tending to his chicken. Several hundred layers in metallic cages, pecking furiously. It’s feeding time. I down my tools and dig in to work.

 “I don’t understand layers. I feed a hundred layers with the same feeds and same ration for six months, around 20 birds are still not laying?”

Wafula is puzzled. Me, too.


The Apex Farm makes a tidy profit with a daily egg supply to shops and groceries across town. The chicken droppings are used in the organic garden. All native vegetables are grown. Wafula’s wife sells these at her grocery stand in town, and hotel owners warming up to healthier food from organic produce.

The Apex Farm proprietor, Wafula, is servicing the Co-op Bank loan comfortably. To prove it, he tracks loan progress on his phone through the New Co-op Internet Banking.

Besides, the New Co-op Internet Banking enables him track all payments from his clients in real time. Life is also easier, thanks to other features like instant bill payments and airtime purchase directly from Co-op Bank account.

Click here to gain similar insights for your business.

“Do you miss the classroom, Mwalimu?” I prod.

“Well, mmm…” Wafula shrugs.

How the modern kid’s indifference to the one-shilling coin shows the gradual shift to a cashless money future

Over the years, a lot has changed in how we live as human beings. It’s gradual, and almost unnoticeable but makes for a credible thesis in the growth and development of the species. Hello, evolution is real – and it’s happening under our noses.

In the pre-times, man has achieved the upright posture. The process of evolution in that regard has achieved its purpose. The front that’s developing is the intellectual part, and huge leaps have been achieved.

Take the average kid, perhaps 3 or 4 years old.

The average modern 4-yr-old has mental faculties developed much more than his contemporary from two decades back. He speaks more – better learning abilities. He achieves physical milestones faster and grasps contexts better.

The concept of money, for instance.

The coin would be a huge treat for a kid a decade back, but it’s no longer acceptable. Nowadays, the one-shilling coin is best used as a plaything. They’ve learnt that as an entity it’s almost valueless. While the one-shilling-coin may be useful as a teaching aid in the concepts of finance and money saving culture, kids have grown quite indifferent to it.

As a teaching aid, yes.

An average modern teen in upper elementary school has an advanced vocabulary quota. On the coin issue, for instance, if such a poser came up in an essay – easily name out the sides of a coin.

What are the names of the three sides of a coin?

According to Wikipedia:

“Traditionally, the side of a coin carrying a bust of a monarch or other authority, or a national emblem, is called the obverse, or colloquially, heads. The other side is called the reverse, or colloquially, tails.”

To be fair, though, obverse and its opposite, reverse, refers to much more than the two flat faces of a coin. It also refers to some other two-sided objects like paper money, flags, seals, medals, drawings, old master prints and other works of art, and printed fabrics.

This generational change has largely been influenced by a digital switch which has seen most societal basics slowly shunning the traditional ways. The commerce and industry facets have changed and improved for the better.

Cashless money is now acceptable and subtly encouraged in the onset of the financially-crippling global pandemic, Covid-19. The tangible aspect of trading in cash has been found to be a medium of transmission.

In the dynamic banking industry, players have revolutionized their systems for a more inclusive digital mode of doing business.

Closer home, Co-op Bank has led the banking sector with a revamped, state-of-the-art digital banking platform that not only guarantees data security in business transactions, but also convenient and user friendly.

The New Co-op Internet Banking allows clients to access their Coop Bank accounts from the comfort of their houses for most everyday banking needs. Cash transfers between account in the same bank, or to other banks has never been easier.

Besides, the New Co-op Internet Banking also allows fast payments for utilities like power, water and cable TV bills.

All Co-op Bank clients easily self-register on their mobile devices. Click here for easy steps to self-register.

Alternatively, get to visit the nearest Coop Bank branch for ready assistance to join the digital banking platform.

Stay safe. Go digital.


This is why a poultry-based startup idea has irresistible merits and worth your time!

There has been an intense global campaign to influence food sustenance, especially in developing countries. Leading scholars and economists across the globe have extensively released publications in that regard, and the view is unanimous: The next crop of millionaires in Africa will come from the agribusiness sector.

After the Covid-19 pandemic hit, corporate and private businesses have taken financial hits resulting in massive pay cuts for employees – or, the less pleasant and life-changing job layoffs and contract terminations.

Agribusiness beckons.

Sheriff Poultry Farm in Bamburi, Mombasa is a classic study on how a well-thought out investment in this sector can turn around plummeting fortunes. What’s more? Improving the livelihood of several lads by generating wage-paying jobs.

The founder of the robust poultry farm is an energetic, jovial lad – perhaps, early 30s’ – and has clocked a decade in a regional cement manufacturing company. He’s Abubakar Mwinyi, but known in the sprawling Bamburi Mwisho hood simply as Sheriff.

In January, just a month after the first case of the pandemic had broken, a third of the employees had received a letter from HR that declined to renew their contracts.

Thankfully, the company had awarded a severance package.

Sheriff didn’t grow up in a farming household, and didn’t have much experience. He had to learn from scratch. Sheriff sourced for online manuals and joined digital farming platforms. After lots of research, he settled on poultry, for several reasons.

The capital required doesn’t break the bank. It’s not labor intensive, and is flexible – start small – lower the risks. He didn’t need much land, his courtyard would be apt.

After a tiered chicken structure by a local fundi, Sheriff visited a hatchery in Kilifi County, and bought 50 chicks – one month’s old. His research sparked his interest in the Ken-Bro variety. This breed is versatile, either for eggs or as table meat.

It has notable resistance to disease compared to purebred layers, and attains weight for meat in just 3 months. If one opts for eggs, they require 6 months.

Sheriff was eyeing the meat business – cafés, restaurants and eateries. He also enjoyed home grown advantage – well known. He had ready market.

One month in, the entrepreneur realized how costly the venture is. The birds were fully house-bred, meaning the feeds cost twice as much as a similar project would cost in free range option. They were eating into his savings – poultry feeds are costly.

At 3 months, Sheriff sold the entire flock to a local café owner, at a good market price. He realized profit – but, at this stage – he valued the experience more. The first flock was his first dive into the deep end of the pool.

Using the earnings, he leased some space from his next door neighbor and fenced it. Now, he could rear his next flock partly in a deep litter system, and free range. After the usual fumigation and sanitation of the premises, he had doubled his purchase – he brought in 100 birds.

Since, Sheriff Poultry Farm has grown in leaps and bounds. It has diversified to host turkeys, water ducks and guinea fowls. The farm formulates own feeds.

Abubakar credits his success to a good relationship with Co-op Bank. After his first sale, Co-op Bank had assisted him register an M-Pesa Till number at no cost for his business – and linked it to his bank account.

Now, through New Co-op Bank Internet Banking, Abubakar easily monitors his account through his mobile phone. It’s now easier to pay for feeds or raw materials directly from his account, pay salaries. He gets to pay his utility bills – water and electricity bills conveniently using his phone.

It’s easy to self-register on New Co-op Bank Internet Banking, just click here, and enjoy the world of banking at your fingertips!

Finally, there is an exciting offer getting Kenyan men thrilled over household shopping!

Therapy doesn’t have a handbook.

To handle stress and depressing situations, many people find their peace in different things. A lot of people want to travel to new places, meet new places. A road trip is very therapeutic – there’s magic in the open road. If lucky, an open-top roadster is a blessing.

A famous global poet admitted to spending lone time at a remote waterfall. The sheet of water endlessly falling down the cliff to end in white foam and mist on the rocks below soothes the soul.

For other souls, hiking over difficult, remote trails works magic. A fair amount of bird watching along the route adds to the allure. Perhaps, it’s the smell of the woods, or the addictive testosterone as body limits are pushed to the extreme.

In some of these cases, being in an area without cellular network coverage is the secret. In the normal daily hustle and bustle, the gadgets never stop ringing. So many people to talk to, so many deals to close, so many deadlines to meet – its sheer heaven to get away from the madness once in a while.

It’s a chance to recharge the soul’s batteries.

On the domestic front, shopping comes as an easy option – it’s very therapeutic. The ladies love to shop. Most Kenyan ladies will go nuts with a good shopping spree. Needless to say, lots of emotional baggage is left behind in malls and arcade aisles. Its nature, perhaps.

Universally, however, men have never been taken in by shopping. It’s a necessary evil, an insufferable feat. A lot of men will gladly pass the monthly shopping chore to their spouses for a quiet drink and easy banter at the neighborhood barbershop.

This month, though, there’s a deal that has got Kenyan men visibly excited about household shopping. Granted, there are numerous comical scenes of a willing dad, trying to pick a brand of detergent from a couple of brands, but, still…..

This deal that’s changing the perception is The Angukia Discount Promotion in collaboration with Naivas Supermarket.

Shopping online from Naivas Supermarket has its perks.

When a Co-op Bank client shops online on Naivas and pays with the Co-op Visa Card, the client enjoys a refund on the delivery fee for all purchases worth above Ksh.1, 000.00. This Delivery Fee Refund is automatically deposited in the client’s Naivas E-wallet within 24 hours to be used in the next purchase.

The Angukia Discount Promo runs from 24th July – 18th September, 2020.

This online shopping deal has changed the hassle that has menfolk avoiding household shopping like the plague.

What’s more?

Co-op Bank clients can easily track their money from the comfort of their homes, through the New Co-op Internet Banking platform. A client can pay shopping and utility bills like KPLC, Water Bills, etc. It’s also easy, fast and secure to transfer cash between accounts within the banks, or other banks.

It’s easy to self-register on New Co-op Internet Banking, click here. Or, visit the nearest Co-op Bank branch for assistance from the banking staff.

Did you know that a piggy bank for your kids has an immense impact in their adult years?

The piggy bank.

This contraption has for generations been an endless source of happiness and grief for kids, in equal measure. It’s full of lessons – and it’s an instructional aid in the financial maze the kid will inevitably find himself growing into.

A basic piggy will come as a convectional box, with a slit hole. But with time they’ve metamorphosed into interesting figures and figurines – disguised in colorful themes based on comics or fantasy heroes, say Spiderman, or Donald Duck. It’s the coin-slit at the top that matters.

These are lots of ways a piggy bank is beneficial to your kid:

  • A piggy bank instills the long-term savings discipline into a kid. Once a kid gets a piggy and some coins, the natural instinct is to insert the coins into the slit. The lesson starts when the kid tries to remove the coins – and fails.

That’s where the piggy bank beats the money jar as an instructional aid.

  • It’s easier to teach kids how to have goals, and the saving culture towards achieving the goals. Once a piggy bank is given, set a goal for the kid spaced out at intervals: perhaps a coveted toy to be bought. The kid will show lots of enthusiasm to achieve this.

Fast forward to a few years, the kid will find it easier saving towards that family house.

  • A piggy bank enables a kid to focus on financial lessons. Kids learn better with visual cues. The lessons start as early as possible.

Saving is a habit, not an innate ability.

  • Allows an avenue in which kids can be involved in day to day spending management talks, and financial management.

For adults, financial management practices are increasingly taking a significant section of their time. It makes sense to have a platform that makes it easier to manage finances from a central point. In the current shifts to manage the global pandemic Covid-19, one of the safer practices is to go cashless.

Co-op Bank clients are a step ahead.

The New Co-op Internet Banking allows clients to access personal and business financial transactions online easily and securely from anywhere, round the clock.

A client can transfer cash from an account to another Co-op Bank account, or a different bank. It’s easy to handle standing orders, paying utility bills, et al. This has really revamped the world of banking.

To join and self-register on New Co-op Internet Banking, click here. One can also visit the nearest Co-op Branch and learn how digital banking has come full circle.

Millennials, hands up if you spent a chilly night outdoors to make sure a cow doesn’t snack on her own placenta!

Oh, the things the boy child in my rural generation had to go through!

It’s a wonder no fatalities or permanent disfigurements were recorded. The rough and tumble on a daily basis was crazy. First, bullying was a thing, and village cred depended on whether you snitched or not. In any case, any snitching to your folks would spawn more problems.

“What were you doing with those boys to get beaten?”

“And, why didn’t you fight back?”

Scraps on the knees would rarely be reported. Tiny bruises would mature into full-blown, septic wounds – and, only then would a lad be taken to the local dispensary for a tetanus jab. That trip would have nothing close to snacking on cookies and fizzy drinks.

The walk would make a huge part of a disciplinary hearing.

One of the lads in the village almost broke his neck in a dare, but luckily escaped with a fractured femur. In those days, the valleys had gigantic, majestic hardwood trees – Camphor, Meru Oak, Meru Teak. These trees would be tall, sometimes close to 100 meters. At the peaks, hawks and eagles would make their nests.

Well, one evening after a river swimming contest, a guy from a rival village comes up with a wild idea.

Who’s brave enough to climb up the towering tree and capture a fledgling from the net?

Wait, an eagle’s chick is called a fledgling. Thought you should know.

This was the kind of stunts that instantly made you a legend in the village. Even damsels would take note. My village crew wouldn’t watch the challenge slip by, and instantly a volunteer stepped forth. I was too little at the time to think about it – not that I would have, anyway.

The guy starts to climb, while we sit and cheer. He’s bare chested, and some sections are a challenge. It takes a while, and halfway into it, the crowd falls silent. We all know this is a bad idea, but no one wants to say that.

Our climber didn’t even get to the last quarter of the tree, before a pair of eagles re-surfaced. Immediately, the birds of prey staged a double-pronged attack. It was subtle at first – blinding claps to the head with their wings.

The climber is hanging off a branch with one hand and trying to ward off the birds with the other. If the birds hadn’t scaled up their attacks with their hooked beaks and talons, perhaps the climber would have got off the tree safely.

A swoop by one of the eagles on his bare back left several gashes. Rivulets of blood started running down the back of his thighs. The tree gets slippery. Another swoop, and our climber is tumbling down.

The damage would have been catastrophic, even fatal, if his fall hadn’t been broken by branches on the way down. It didn’t take long, but the eagles were still fast enough to claw him all the way down!

He plunged headlong into thick shrubbery growing along the river bed. We all took to our heels – straight home! I later heard that the climber’s younger brother had raced to fetch their father. They’d almost taken an hour to retrieve the lad from the shrubbery. He was lucky to escape with just a broken leg.

Recently, with the lockdown due to the pandemic, I spent a chilly night with a vet. The vet says his career path was decided by a near-death episode as a kid. A bull had broken loose and almost trampled him to death – they were having their cow serviced. Since, he’s helped phase out traditional bulls in favor of artificial insemination – at reasonable costs.

On this night, our family cow had just delivered – we were waiting to receive the placenta. Cows have an uncanny trick of eating their placentas!

As is with the Covid-19 regulations, the vet insists on cashless means of payment. He easily self-registered online on the New Co-op Internet Banking.

The New Co-op Internet Banking allows a client to handle and track payments to his account, real time. This also allows direct purchase of airtime from a Co-op Bank account, and even pay utility bills like power, water or cable TV packages. To self-register online, click here.

If you survived such adventures, you are a legend!

Laikipia County and Co-op Bank in a joint venture to fund over 7000 entrepreneurs through the Laikipia Entreprise Fund

The Laikipia County Government and the Co-operative Bank of Kenya (Co-op Bank) have today launched the Laikipia Enterprise Fund with an initial kitty of Ksh 300 million, to offer affordable financing and business support to co-operatives and entrepreneurs in Laikipia County.

To kick-off the Fund, the bank and the county government have entered into an Interest-Sharing and Guarantee Arrangement.  This is aimed at supporting two key segments;

First, to empower co-operatives in Laikipia County through affordable financing and Consultancy Services, to enable them have sufficient liquidity for lending to members, and strengthen their management structures, and

Second, to support over 7,000 entrepreneurs in Laikipia County recover from the challenges of the Covid-19 Pandemic by way of affordable financing and training.

Borrowers will pay single-digit interest rates, which makes this arrangement perhaps the most affordable lending program in Kenya today. The low interest rate has been made possible by the interest-sharing arrangement, whereby the Laikipia County Government will be offering an interest subsidy of 5 per cent, thereby reducing the bank lending rate from 12.1 per cent to 7.1 per cent per annum for all borrowers.

Co-op Group Managing Director Gideon Muriuki
Co-op Group Managing Director Gideon Muriuki

In addition, borrowers will enjoy a reduced appraisal fee at 1.5 per cent of the approved loan amount.

Co-op Bank will match three times the amount that the County Government will place in the Enterprise Fund, to ensure as many borrowers benefit from the opportunity. In addition to financing, the bank will make available the full basket of services that include digital banking tools, workshops for business training, and capacity-building consultancy services for co-operatives.

Repayment period for the loans will be upto 12 months for SMEs and upto 18 months for co-operatives.

The county government shall undertake initial vetting of loan applicants as provided for in the Laikipia County Enterprise Fund Regulations 2020. Co-op Bank will further appraise for qualification.

The Laikipia Enterprise Fund commences operations immediately.

To dads making selfless sacrifices for their families – Happy Father’s Day!

My third floor balcony overlooks a fish market. It’s nothing fancy, just a smattering of polythene paper stalls. The smell of fish sometimes is overwhelming, and the view is an eye-sore. But it’s the people in the market that are close to my heart. I like watching the vendors call out to their customers – each lady has a characteristic call – sometimes a whistle, a screech.

The most intense moments happen when the fishermen bring in their catch. This trade calls for a level of roughness, some bit of violence. A lot of the fishermen are usually tipsy, and will likely head back to the drinking dens after the sale.

Over time, I’ve noticed the rough, tipsy fishermen never sell all their catch. There’s always a bunch of fish sewn over their gills set aside from the sale. This is meant for their families. However carefree these men may appear to be, they always have their families in mind.

Their wives and kids come first.

This is what being a father means. From my balcony, I can see the pride and purpose in their steps as they first head home to deliver the daily bread, then stroll out for a stiff drink with their peers.

Back in the days, festive seasons would bring me a heavy cloud of sorrow. Christmas, Easter, occasional birthdays…name them all. I’d dread them. Because we always had to slaughter some animal. In the village, we’d be close to the animals we kept – and it’d take days before I got over it.

This ceremony was a masculine affair, and I still think of the chilly mornings. It was always early, before the children woke up. As the eldest son, sleeping in was a luxury. My father would rap on my door (my brothers and I lived in a separate house) – and whisper hoarsely:

“Ken! Ken! Go get the goat!”

I didn’t like it, but I’d jump out of bed. In those days, you’d be teased for days for a sign of weakness. In those days, it was deemed manly to show no fright at the sight of blood.

I’d grab the chosen goat and disappear into the semi-dark banana grove behind the main house. For a few minutes, I’d kneel with the goat’s head in my arms. I’d try to explain to the goat why it had to go down this way. I always felt like Judas Iscariot, with his 30 pieces of silver.

Shortly, father would appear with a knife and a small bucket. He’d wrestle the goat to the ground, and tie up his feet. He’d ask me to kneel on her back – to hold her down. Then, time would slow down…..

The overpowering smell of blood would hit me first. Then, the smell of sweat, and dung on father’s khaki overalls would join in. Nausea almost always overran me, and I would retch and vomit.

Father would look at me softly, and sometimes pat me on the head.

“Don’t worry, Ken. They die so that we may live”.

It’s been several decades, and these sacred memories never leave me. Memories of these solemn words, told over a bleeding goat.

Father is now retired, and no longer wrestles goats on festive days.

He now runs a butchery, albeit from home. He’d used a section of his pension, and I had acquired a Coop Bank loan – we jointly own this venture. His role is to source for live animals from the community – he’s gifted with amazing people skills. I take over from the slaughterhouse – distribution to various retail outlets and institutions, like hospitals and hotels.

It’s easy business, thanks to the New Co-op Internet Banking that allows me to manage my Co-op Bank account from one place. It allows real-time monitoring of payments to the butchery account through the Co-op Bank M-Pesa pay bill number 400200, and direct cash transfers via M-Coop Cash App.

I can also access banking features like statements, buying airtime and internet data direct from my account. The New Co-op Internet Banking allows convenient fund transfers to M-Pesa or any local bank account.

Towards dusk, I send the old man a message on his phone: Happy Father’s Day.

Fatherhood is a tricky responsibility and there’s no handbook, yet. A big part of who we are is a reflection of the fatherhood we grew up with…

I&M, Co-op Bank top bank rating for first quarter 2020 – Cytonn Research

Kenya’s banking sector showed resilient performance despite the tough operating environment which was largely attributable to persistent revenue diversification. This is according to an analysis of the financial performance of listed banks done by the Cytonn Financial Services Research Team for the first quarter of this year.

The report has also carried out a comprehensive ranking of the listed banks on the basis of franchise value and also on future growth opportunity, with I&M Holdings and Coop bank score at 51 and 49, respectively.

KCB Group Plc and Equity Group follow closely with 56 and 60 respectively, on the franchise value score.

On the Q1’ 2020 ranking, there hasn’t been much shifting from the FY’ 2019 list with the leaders only slightly changing position. Co-op Bank shifts up a position to rank second, with a slight margin. FY’ 2019 leader, KCB Group has ceded two positions to rank third, albeit with an impressive franchise value score – 56.

The report also highlights other banking giants in successive order include DTBK at position 5, ABSA at position 6 with franchise value score of 67 and 62, respectively.

Stanbic Bank/Holdings, SCBK, NCBA Group Plc, HF Group Plc rank in that order to make the top ten financial institutions list.

Co-operative Bank of Kenya Ltd whose rank improved to Position 2 from Position 3 in FY’2019 mainly due to an improvement in the Gross NPL ratio to 10.8% in Q1’2020 from 11.2% in FY’2019, in turn, improving its franchise value score, and,Major Changes from the Q1’2020 Ranking are:

  • KCB Group whose rank declined to Position 3 from Position 1 in FY’2019 mainly due to a deterioration in the cost to income ratio to 61.1% in Q1’2020 from 56.2% in FY’2019 thus, in turn, worsening the franchise value score.

The report all the same highlights that banks reported a decline in the quality of their loan books, as a result of compliance with the new accounting rules known as IFRS 9, together with the cautious stance that banks have taken to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Asset quality deteriorated in Q1’2020 with the gross NPL ratio increasing by 0.9% points to 11.3% from 10.4% in Q1’2019. This was high compared to the 5-year average of 8.5%. In accordance with IFRS 9, banks are expected to provide both for the incurred and expected credit losses. Consequently, this saw the NPL coverage increase to 57.4% in Q1’2020 from 54.5% in Q1’2019 as banks adopted a cautious stance on the back of the expected impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Cytonn Report.

There are more banking report details on Cytonn Q1’2020 Listed Banking Sector Review

The chilly mornings in the countryside inspire thoughtful reflections on eventual retirement

If it doesn’t presently hog your mind, the thought of retirement is a pensive moment for a lot of people. What is it like to have no work deadlines, board meetings and back-to-back meetings every morning? How does it feel to know one is living the last third of one’s life?

In the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown, working from the village has been an inspiring period. The countryside is full of energy, for the conscious one. Open your eyes, soak it in.

They say, to know an area you have to study the natives.

In my case, I had a perfect study subject, my elderly father – now gracefully retired and approaching his sunset. Perhaps, that’s why he has a thing for sprightly, early mornings and lazy sunsets.

From the wide veranda below the grass eaves of his Thingira, Papa watches the sun rise. The compound is wide, and green with dewy grass. Icy cold droplets of dew catch the early rays of the sun, and reflect it in a glassy show of purity. The lone Ayrshire cow, off leash, grazes silently along the Kei Apple fence.

He sits alone, pensive, in his aged lawn chair. On the first days of the lockdown, I’d wake up early and join him. I’d quickly learn it’s not his favorite time for chit chat, and we’d sit silently staring over the beautiful valley – bespoke with rising plumes of early morning fires from the conical huts on the countryside.

The chilly mornings, we’d think. While I’d think of my colleagues, the antiseptic smell of stationery in the office and the incessant ruckus of hawkers and hooting cars, I’d wonder what the old man was thinking about.

I asked once.

Well, the new pandemic was troubling him. While Papa had lived through some of the most iconic moments in the country’s history, nothing had prepared him for this pandemic. Some were ecstatic, happy moments – like November 17th, 2006 when the Maasai Mara Game Reserve was declared one of the Seventh Wonders of the World.

For a retired game warden, it was a good moment to be alive.

On the political front, August 27th 2010 had dawned with his beloved country checking in a new constitution.

The old man was pensive, for most of his family lived in the city, and am the only one who had managed to leave the city before the lockdown. He didn’t seem pacified when I mentioned his granddaughter and son in the city would be alright, as they’d certainly follow government directives.

My kids were college students in the city, and lived together in a rented flat. I’d speak to them often, and had asked them not to worry the old man with details of the lockdown.

One chilly morning, as the orange orb of light oozed its rays over the valley, Papa had demanded to know how I knew his grandkids were okay.

I slowly explained that banking had come full circle, since then. It was slow, but it helped that he was a Co-op Bank member too, channeling tea and coffee payments through his account there.

In that chilly morning, with the Ayrshire cow grazing only a few feet away, I had taught him about MCo-op Cash App – and how that seamlessly allowed me to pay bills for my kids directly.

“What bills?” He’d demanded.

“All of them. Rent, KPLC bills, DSTV bills, water bills….” I’d told him.

Naturally, he wanted to help. He still had tea bonuses in his Co-op Bank account.

I showed him how MCo-op Cash App allowed me to check account balances, withdraw funds, get account statements and even apply loans. There is also the MCo-op Cash Paybill number 400200 that allows direct deposits to a Coop Bank account.

Papa didn’t have a ‘city phone’ as he refers to smart phones. However, his phone can still handle Co-op Bank’s USSD number *667#, for a similar banking menu, but…..

“Get the rope, she’s about to get a calf!” He shouts, pointing at the cow.

Visit the nearest Co-op Bank branch or click here, to learn about Mobile banking (M-Coop Cash) and its ingenious ways that eases up banking.


An interesting account of the tense moments at the Nairobi County lockdown barrier on Thika Road

Have you travelled to Nairobi City from other counties, lately?

Well, the lockdown road blocks are a thing – to stem the rapidly spreading Covid-19 pandemic. The tension, the uncertainty as one waits for clearance to leave or enter the city is almost tangible.

The Thika Road block, for instance.

This road block has been mounted off Thika Town, at the Del Monte Factory point. It’s meant to stem the flow of humanity to and from Eastern and Central region. Its perhaps one of the busiest, round the clock.

This is where I am, on a cool Wednesday afternoon seeking to re-enter the city after a few weeks working from the rural home.

A mile or so to the actual block, we join the queue of cars. There are a smattering of armed police officers on foot patrol, holding brief conversations here and there. Presently, a smiling officer asks passengers in our van to alight and walk towards the front of the queue.

The policy is that only the driver stays in a vehicle, to the road block. It’s a work staff van, and everyone has permits. But, still, everyone is silent and nervous.

We alight and start the walk.

The slow mile to the check point feels weird. It’s laden with dreadful feelings. Will I pass the test once again? Have I interacted with a risky person of late?

Dear Lord, I know I’ve sinned and fallen short …. You get it, right? It’s ok to be prayerful.

The walk to the road block testing point reminds one of the 999 steps to the famous Heaven’s Gate. No, not that heaven. We talking of one of the world’s most spectacular locations – a stunning tourist attraction in Hunan, China.

The 999-step stairway to Heaven’s Gate is an architectural wonder, winding up a stunning piece of landscape around Tianmen Mountain. Global tourists have made iconic challenges climbing, hiking and even driving up the steps. It commands a Mecca-kind of reverence for wanderlusts.

Well, the testing tents have a long queue.

It’s easy to ignore the happenings in the tension leading up to the tests, but there’s a lot happening – especially on the business level.

While the pandemic has slowed down and closed up lots of businesses, it has also spawned a couple. At the Thika Road check-point, there’s a lot of personnel around the clock – and this has attracted entrepreneurs.

The road block has security officers, medical officers, charity organizations’ staff and elements of administration. This obviously needs welfare planning from refreshments, feeding and other essential services.

On our queue as we await our turn on the test, a lady in a smart orange apron comes along. She’s balancing colorful, blended juice in tumblers on a tray, selling at Kes. 50/- a piece. They seem tantalizing.

Anything to make us release the tension of the looming tests.

“Have some juice, brother. You are sweating”, she tells me.

“Ok, what’s in it?” I ask, pointing to a reddish-yellow tumbler on her tray.

“Oh, that’s mango juice blended with guava…Its delicious” She says, handing it to me.

“Sina cash, tutalipa vipi?” I ask.

I also want to treat my colleagues. The bill comes to Kes.200.

“I prefer cashless payments. Cash ni risky sana kwa hii road block”. She says. Her name is Naomi.

Naomi visibly lights up. She’s well spoken.

She informs us that she has a Co-op Bank account, and the bank recently assisted her get a till number at no cost on which clients can send money straight to her account. Alternatively, we could also pay through Coop Bank’s M-Pesa pay bill number 400200 straight to the account.

In my case, though, I opted to pay via M-Coop Cash app on my phone. It was easy and convenient – to send money from my Coop Bank account straight to hers – via M-Coop Cash app.

For a minute, we forgot the tension leading up to the test.

For startups or established business owners, learn more on E-commerce Business Solutions or visit the nearest Co-op Bank branch. The bank shall also assist you acquire M-Pesa till numbers to facilitate cashless payments at no cost.


The various types of boda boda riders, from interesting to the irritating!

What’s it with the boda boda guys?

They are sometimes a deplorable lot, morally decadent and vulgar loudmouths. Yet, an integral part of the social fabric that holds communities together.

It’s no wonder then that everyone has a favorite boda boda guy.

Like apples in a barrel, they come in a variety. While the group largely has outstanding, morally upright individuals, a barrel of apples definitely won’t lack a pair or so of rotting specimen – and, this is what tarnishes an otherwise good past time.

There are several types in this barrel.

The Talkative Fellow will not let you settle on the bike seat properly, before he starts talking. It doesn’t matter if you are listening or not….he’ll rat out on which of his colleagues takes a shower or doesn’t. He’ll remind you of the day the beer truck tipped over at the market. They are conniving bastards – he calculates his speed based on the distance to your destination, so that every story doesn’t hang off halfway.

Sometimes, the talkative fellow hasn’t brushed his teeth, for days. Now, that’s a bad day for you!

The Political Rider keeps tabs on the political trends of the day.

“Hey, unaona huyu jamaa wetu akipata hii kiti tena?” He asks, wind blowing spittle backwards into your face.

You don’t like politics, but he keeps turning his head to catch your reply.

“Hapana, hajafanya kitu – huoni hii bara bara inataka repair?” You answer, timidly.

You realize it’s a mistake the minute you let the words fly out. He skids to a halt, dust flying. He turns to face you. Oblivious of time, the political rider then lurches into a 10-minute monologue on why the incumbent is still his candidate of choice. After a while, getting fidgety, you remind him that the next elections are still three years short.

“Maisha ni siasa, rafiki”, He says, sighing in exasperation at your apparent ignorance. Mercifully, he fires up his rickety bike.

The rider that puts your inner strength and fortitude to the test, is The Filthy, Dirty Rider. This guy hasn’t had a change of clothes in recent times. Sometimes, he’s dreadlocked and God-knows-what lives in those dreadlocks.

In a twist of irony, this type is usually very popular around bus termini, and their bikes? Oh, man. Their bikes are spotless, shiny and kitted out with fancy gadgetry.

The filthy guy lets the bike market itself. He doesn’t sit on it as he waits for clients. You’ll point the parked shiny bike – and the rider shall emerge from the shed. Since you’ve already made your pick, you’ll have to endure the ride.

You’ll suffer a mixture of disgusting body smells.

The Professional Rider.

This is the most likeable guy. He’s punctual and well-dressed in jeans, boots and heavy jackets. Unlike his peers above, he has a functional cell phone, and most clients call for services. Before the lockdown, business would run well past the night as he’s created a trustworthy client base.

One such professional is challenging his boda boda peers in my locality.

When Covid-19 pandemic struck, he’s had to change with the times. He’d invested in masks and sanitizers. The social distance directive that advises one client on a bike? He takes it seriously.

On payments, he’s turned to cashless payments. He has a Co-op Bank account. Recently, he learnt that Co-op Bank assists business owners to get M-Pesa Till numbers for their businesses, he didn’t waste time. The bank assisted him get one for his bike business at no cost!

A boda boda guy with an M-Pesa till number sticker on the fuel tank! That’s ingenious!

Now, his clients pay his bills via the M-Pesa till number on the bike’s tank, and the money is deposited straight into his Co-op Bank account.

Business owners can learn more on E-commerce Business Solutions or visit the nearest Co-op Bank branch. The bank shall also assist you acquire M-Pesa till numbers to facilitate cashless payments at no cost.


The saying ‘Good Old Days’ is outdated, and this is why the new times are hundred times better!

Good riddance to the good old days.

It’s debatable if the past days indeed merit the ‘Good Old Days’ tag. If you flinch whenever you hear that line, you ain’t alone. Everything new is better.

Old days versus new days, which is better?

The progressive amongst us would fight tooth and nail for new times. Healthcare is better. Roads and rail systems are better. In the so-called ‘Good Old Days’, simple mail would take ages to reach the intended party. There’s been huge strides in human rights activism and community awareness on topical issues like gender equality, FGM or even cattle rustling.

New is certainly better.

In urban and rural landscapes, a shopping center would have an influential, family-run business. This business would occupy an imposing building middle of the settlement, or a major street. The major flaw with such family-ran businesses, is that they’d be named after the family patriarch, and tag the sons.

Like, Mungai & Sons Textiles. Or, Mutisya & Sons Enterprises.

It didn’t matter if that family had a single son and several daughters, they’d be ignored. In some cases, the sons in a family would be useless drunks in that society, they’d still be tagged beside the founding father in the business.

Luckily, thanks to a spirited gender equality campaign, things have changed. The feminine gender has proved to be better entrepreneurs and better business minds to not run generational investments to the ground.

Bang in the middle of Kericho Town’s business district, nestled in a behemoth of a glass building, runs a girl-run business that’s the envy of other family-owned businesses.

We celebrate Jebet & Daughters Bakers Ltd, in Kericho Town.

Jebet is a robust, brilliant lady – perhaps in her early 60’s – who founded and grew a baking business from a modest, cramped corridor-shop in the late 90’s. While it’s hard to picture her humble beginnings considering her current level, Rebecca intimates a difficult start. She’d dropped from school and found employment as a house girl, but quit after a few months to follow her passion. She’d rent a tiny shop off a corridor.

She’d bake tea cakes, then popularly known as Kaimati – and deliver to other businesses within her street.

Over the years, Jebet would grow from a tiny shop, rent bigger space, and hire staff. Besides, she’d juggle this motherhood as she was blessed with twin daughters one year into the business. However, the father to the twins passed away in a road crash. She’d chosen to remain strong and focused to keep her business afloat, and raise her daughters.

Those were the hard days. The business has grown to command a huge section of the bread industry in the Rift Valley. She’d incorporate her daughters, after college. Jebet and Daughters Ltd was born, and has since landed contracts to supply bread and confectionery to government establishments, NGO’s and learning institutions.

During this interview, the business mogul shuns formalities – insists to be addressed simply as ‘Jebet’. She’s quick to credit their success to a good working relationship with their banking partner, Co-op Bank.

Becky tells us that Coop has heavily invested in the convenient e-Commerce solution. It allows her to easily and safely make transactions with institutions, and receive instant updates on payments.

All payments are made to her business’s Co-op bank account, and the e-Commerce solution has an outstanding real-time processing speed. For NGO’s clients, the solution also allows payments in any currency – GBP, USD, EURO, or KES, which is convenient for both parties.

On her shop network in various streets, which used to run 24 hours before the Covid-19 pandemic, she insists on cashless payments. The Co-op Bank M-Pesa Paybill number 400200 is displayed conspicuously – allows direct payments to her Co-op Bank account. This is the same case with outlets in neighboring towns – the bank had assisted her get M-Pesa Till numbers for each outlet. All this is done free of charge.

It’s fascinating to learn how this business lady runs her business from a central office, and still find time for chit chat. Her business template would be a good starting point for other business owners with a desire to survive the harsh economic state in the country.

Visit the nearest Co-op Bank branch to learn about the e-Commerce solution for your business, or log into the online banking platform. The bank shall also assist you acquire M-Pesa till numbers to facilitate cashless payments.

Long live Jebet & Daughters Bakers Ltd, Kericho.