FSD Kenya SME Value Proposition

The Situation

FSD (Financial Sector Deepening) Kenya has been working since 2005 to reduce poverty and create wealth in Kenya, by assisting the growth of financial markets. A range of international development partners work with the Kenyan Government to fund the program, including the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

They are currently working in partnership with the Kenyan financial services sector to help the rapidly expanding group of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) operating in Kenya.

Working with DRG

In late 2013 David Reid was invited to work with FSD on a project assisting a major Kenyan bank to better understand their SME client base. A primary goal was to articulate a clear value proposition to engage SME customers. Although DRG was new to working in Africa, it is generally agreed that SMEs have similar needs and face familiar challenges wherever they are based. David was a perfect fit for the job, having gained extensive experience working with both banking and SME clients.

During an intense week of on the ground research in Kenya, interviewing over 40 of the bank’s stakeholders, SME customers, and employees at every level of the organization, David worked to understand the bank’s standing in relation to SMEs and what they could offer this growing market segment.

After reflection, he crafted a high level value proposition and presented his findings directly back to the bank. While this was an initial project and David was not tasked with trying to solve the bank’s problems, he did provide practical recommendations on key next steps for the organization.

The Results

FSD Kenya’s client bank was impressed with the pragmatic methodology David used to consider their position, and agreed with his rationale and findings. His value proposition resonated strongly with them and they acknowledged that the next steps David had identified were key to their future within Kenya’s SME sector.

DRG looks forward to following the progress of the bank and this exciting international project.