Kaah International Microfinance Services is among the three finalists to be selected by EFICA
Kaah International Microfinance Services (KIMS) has made it to the final stage of the Ethical Finance Innovation Challenge & Awards (EFICA) following a rigorous multi stage process of evaluation. KIMS was nominated for the award, which recognizes the ‘most dynamic actionable solutions that advance ethics in the world’s financial services’, along-side over 50 other candidates from 24 countries. Following its successful presentation to EFICA’s Advisory Board, KIMS was selected as one of the three finalists to present at the EFICA gala in Dubai in November.
KIMS is Somalia’s only dedicated privately owned microfinance institution, providing responsible and Shariah compliant financing and micro-savings to Somali micro and small businesses. Since its launch in 2014, KIMS has provided more than $7 million in life-changing financing to over 8,000 Somalis, including refugee returnees, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and groups at risk of leaving the country in search of work.
Commenting on reaching the final stage of EFICA, Mustafa Ali, Chairman of KIMS said: “We are pleased that our efforts with our partners have been successful in responding to Somalia’s need for economic development and sustainable livelihood creation on a vast scale, helping vulnerable populations whose lives have been impaired by conflict as well as groups at risk of out-migration.EFICA’s recognition is very important substantiation that we are on the right path”.
Justin Sykes, KIMS Board member, praised theorganizers of EFICA in promoting ethics and innovation in financial services, and stated: “Thisselection of KIMS reflects the growing recognition of the need for long-term market-based solutions in fragile and conflict affected countries. KIMS’ innovative micro and SME financial solutions have enabled at risk populations to become resourceful economic actors. KIMS will continue to enhance its capabilities and scale its financial service offerings to empower the Somali people to pursue sustainable sources of income.
Abdillahi Awad, CEO of KIMS said, “We are honoured to be selected by EFICA’s Advisory Board and we thank them for the opportunity to demonstrate that innovative financial services guided by ethical principles has immense capability to lift the most vulnerable and stimulate economic recovery. Our teams on the ground, our partners globally and our beneficiaries have benefitted immensely from our engagement with EFICA and the other candidates.”
For the EFICA Award, KIMS put forward its initiative to address the needs of the 25,000 refugees returning to Somalia from Dadaab UNHCR refugee camp in Kenya, many of them after spending decades away from home.
To help the returnees reintegrate and enable them economically, KIMS in collaboration with UNHCR and the American Refugee Committee (ARC), developed two specially tailored shariah compliant loan products:
- Start-up micro-credit for individuals to support youth returnees. The financing is coupled with
specialized financial literacy and business training to help youth maximize their ability to start and grow their own income generating activities. To date over 550 youth benefited from the program with over 200 start-ups and 70 expected to start in the near future.
- Business expansion financing for fisheries cooperatives in Kismayo to expand their asset-base
and finance activities such as boat building and repair, netmaking, fish processing, packing and
distribution. KIMS has worked with more than 10 cooperatives and over 300 refugee returnees havejoined the benefited cooperatives.
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For media enquiries:
Public Relations Officer
KIMS Board & Management
: +44 (0)7781 415770
NOTES TO EDITORS
KIMS was established in March 2014 as the first, dedicated private sector microfinance institution in the Somalia. It aims to provide a diversified set of commercially viable yet socially orientated financial services to meet the unmet demand for microfinance. KIMS prioritizes enterprise financing through Sharia compliant products but also offers savings and insurance products to meet community needs with particular attention to women and youth.
KIMS was established to meet this huge unmet demand in the Somali market through aninnovative private-public partnership model that has been developed to enable its parent company Kaah Express toexpand its current services to include sharia-compliant microfinance via a dedicated spin-offcompany. Kaah Express is a leading international Money Service Business (MSB) that serves Somalia. It has an extensive network of agents worldwide, as well as a fully developed network of branches and agents in Somalia, enabling the provision of money transfer services in virtually all cities, towns and larger villages across the Somali territories. Kaah Express operates in more than 40 countries, serving close to 100,000 clients a month and supporting the transfer of millions of US dollars a year, the vast majority of which flows from the global Somali diaspora back to Somalia.
The Ethical Finance Initiative Award (EFICA) promotes emerging and existing talent providing
ethical financial solutions or initiatives that can be implemented within the financial sector. In 2013, Thomson Reuters and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) partnered to launch the world’s first Ethical Finance Innovation Challenge and Awards to inspire and recognise fresh ways of thinking and promote the most dynamic actionable solutions that advance ethics in the world’s financial services. Thompson Reuters & ADIB still administer the awards process and an Advisory Board of renowned members overlook the process. To date four editions of the awards have been completed.