Wakenya Pamoja Sacco Society Limited (WPS) was started in 1976 as a Union Banking Section of Kisii Farmers Co-operative Union (KFCU). It became autonomous in 1992 under the name Gusii Farmers Rural Sacco Society Limited (GRFS). The Society has, over the years, undergone major governance reforms which have facilitated: the change of name which was in line with the strategic move to expand geographically and explore other financial opportunities; and diversification of the membership to increase the society’s scope beyond tea and coffee to include value chain financing, microfinance, business development financing, asset financing among others.
The diversification into microfinance followed by value chain financing has created the impetus and the incentive for change in the society. In turn, due to the positive impact of change in governance and the organization of the society, success in the two ventures can now take place and be expanded.
It should however be noted that, it is under the leadership of the Board of Directors and the Senior Management of WPS, that bold and visionary decisions were taken to finance all the microfinance and value chain pilots, and scaling up by investing the society’s own funds complemented with external debt. Only technical assistance (CIDR) was provided on grants, making this process and model sustainable and replicable.
The Society was formed under the Cooperative Society’s Act and Regulations. With introduction of the SACCO Societies Act 2008, the Society now operates under a regulator i.e. the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) and its By-laws. WPS, on the 20th day of April 2011, was licensed to conduct deposit-taking Sacco business, subject to the provisions of the Sacco Societies Act No. 14 of 2008 and the regulations, being the among the first ten Sacco’s to be licensed by SASRA. WPS is run through a delegates system with the annual delegates meeting as the supreme decision making body.
The Society is managed by a board of directors structured into various committees. The day to day running of the Sacco is by the CEO and the staff. The Society is structured into various departments namely: Finance, Operations, Credit, Marketing, Microfinance, Internal Audit, Information Communication and Technology, and Human Resource.