SMEP Microfinance Bank is a nationwide licensed banking institution. The company was licensed by the Central Bank of Kenya as a DTM on 14th December 2010 after operating as a credit only MFI since April 1999 when it was registered as a company limited by guarantee.
From a humble beginning operating as a small project of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) in 1975, the company has grown into a Microfinance Bank. The Project started as a relief arm of NCCK providing the poor in the slum areas in our towns especially Nairobi with food and later on with small business grants.It was later realized that the feeding programme could not be sustainable, hence a means was sought to make people participate in meeting their daily needs and avoid dependency as well as expand the assistance to reach other people.
“Don’t give people fish, but teach them how to fish” became the philosophy and gospel of SMEP. It is in this spirit that the credit scheme was born.
The decision to give SMEP a separate legal entity from NCCK was to enable it address the problems of poverty and unemployment more professionally and aggressively.
In 1990, the scheme adopted the group lending method (adapted from Grameen bank model) through support from USAID. From then on, the MFI has continued to grow and has recorded significant success. SMEP Microfinance Bank now boasts with 6 Deposit Taking Branches, 35 Marketing Units, and over 135,000 clients nationwide.