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ABC Interview Peter Macharia, CEO, Jijenge Credit Limited

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Peter Macharia Kamau is a seasoned banker with over 30 years experience in the Banking Industry. Peter founded Jijenge Credit, a lending institution operating since 2014 within East Africa.

What does your company do?

Jijenge Credit is a non-deposit taking Micro Finance Lending Institution with over 10,000 clients in Kenya, Sudan and Tanzania, and its head office is at Town House, Nairobi, Kenya.

Our greatest advantage is mobile lending, which is efficient and effective. Demand for microfinance products is very high especially among SMEs who are the company’s main client. Jijenge Credit looks to aid those who are unable to access financial services from banks and also those who would like their loans to be approved within a short period of time. A good example is logbook loans, our main product, whereby the log book acts as security which enables the loan to be disbursed within one hour.

Some of our other products include

• Title Deed Loans: This applies to both rental and residential properties as long as the client has an original title deed.
• Check-off loans: This loan is provided against a person’s salary and deductions are done directly. No securities, guarantors or account opening is required.
• School emergency loans – this service fulfils tuition needs of the client.
• Import duty finance
• LPO financing
• Bid bonds
• Asset financing.

How is Jijenge Credit funded?

By me! I worked in the banking industry for 30years as a senior Manager and Jijenge Credit is the fruit of my early retirement package.

What are the USPs of Jijenge Credit?

Short turn-around time and unique customer service experience. As a banker, I know how long loan processes take between loan application and the client receiving money for applied loan (loan disbursement).
We are customer oriented in the sense that our goal is to see clients’ businesses grow and thrive. We therefore do not rush to repossess the client’s property without giving them a second and third chance to repay their loans.
Our customer service agents make the loan application process easier for clients within and outside Nairobi by ensuring that they receive their money fast through PayPal and M-pesa, a money transfer facility that is popular in Kenya and the Eastern African region. This is what helped spread our reach to Tanzania and Sudan.

Who can access your loans, and under what conditions? 

Loans can be accessed by individuals over 18years, provided they are salaried, own a business or assets. A loan has to be guaranteed/secured by providing a log book or a title deed. One can also apply for a loan online through the company website by simply filling and submitting a form.

What are the growth plans of the company?

We formed partnerships with training and capacity building companies and business forums. These collaborations are meant to help train clients on financial literacy and financial inclusions to ensure that clients are able to pay back loans taken. Now that we have a client base in Tanzania and Sudan, we plan to spread further in the region. The name Jijenge is Swahili and can be translated to ‘build/grow yourself’.

What is the latest news from Jijenge Credit?

Oh, lots happening! The company launched holiday products in the second quarter of this year. Clients are aided in booking holidays at better rates during the low seasons to avoid high charges during the peak season. We are in contact with travel & tours companies to negotiate affordable holiday plans.
We have launched a sister company, JCL Motors, which imports and sells cars with the objective of enabling people get cars at affordable rates.
Jijenge Credit was voted the Most Promising Credit Microfinance in Logbook Finance 2019.

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