Bank of Kigali disbursed Ksh 13.2 billion through its Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) center in 10 months to April 2023, pointing to high pent-up demand for funding by the fast-growing businesses.
The Nairobi Securities Exchange and Rwanda Stock Market listed lender set up an SME Center in July 2022 to help scale up customers with high-potential businesses.
It came after an analysis by the bank established that 80 percent of its customers are big companies whose funding needs could not be addressed on the same queue as the SMEs.
“We know that SMEs form a big part of the country’s economy and employ many Rwandans, that is why we came up with this special center to tackle that financing gap,” said the Bank of Kigali CEO, Diane Karusisi, in a statement.
All borrowers through the SME Center are on track with repayments, the bank noted, indicating that 60 percent of them are repeated customers either topping up their existing loans or seeking fresh funding.
The BK SME centers offer a range of products that are specifically tailored to the special needs of SMEs.
Bank employees seconded to the SME Centers at all branches are specifically trained to handle the unique needs of their clients.
Besides offering loans, the BK SME centers also offer Non-Financial Services such as financial advisory, and training clients on tax declaration, among others.
“What the SME owners need is advice. At these centers, they talk to our staff and tell us their plans and we see how we can help them to develop their businesses,” said Dr Karusisi.
A quarter of the borrowers are traders in the commercial sector of the economy, as per a BK customer analysis.
The average loan size currently stands at about Ksh 14.2 million.
Bank of Kigali has more than 16,000 SME clients.