The Beginnings of Yehu Microfinance Services Ltd (YMSL)
YMSL originally began in 1998 as a project of Choice Humanitarian- Kenya, a Non-governmental Organization based in Utah, USA. The project was under the name Yehu Enterprises Support Services (YESS). Yehu in Miji Kenda (local language) means ours, a true conviction of the founder Dr. Rita Lugogo that Yehu should be owned by the common people as a true testimony that sustainable socio-economic transformation is real to the marginalized rural poor if given suitable opportunities to access right financial services tailored to them.
YESS began with 300 female members in a small rural village in Kikoneni in the then Kwale District now Msambweni District located at the south coast of Kenya. The initial group was formed to mobilize savings among its members, however the need for credit provision quickly became apparent, and in the year 2000 the first loans were issued.
The microcredit programme took strong traction within the southern coast of Kenya and it became apparent that the YESS project could not effectively expand just as a project of Choice Humanitarian, hence the establishment of an automous Yehu Microfinance Trust governed with an independent Board of Trustees, in 2006.
The microfinance landscape since 2006 has experienced significant changes and especially in the regulatory environment with the enactment of MFI Act 2006 and subsequent amendments to the Act of Parliament. Yehu is on roadmap of transforming into a microfinance bank, hence the incorporation of Yehu Microfinance Services Ltd in 2016. The new outfit is considered more appropriate in taking Yehu to the next level as it firmly assumes greater national responsibility in the area of enhancing financial access to the rural poor for sustainable socio-economically healthy livelihoods.