are based on the principal of joint liability. In essence the group takes over the underwriting, monitoring, and enforcement of loan contracts from the
lending institution. Goldmark (2001) indicated that under joint liability each group member is made responsible for the loan of other group members. If one defaults, the other group members are required to cover the loan from their own resources, and if they do not, they lose access to future loans. It is thus in each member’s interest to ensure that the other members pay. Woolcock (2002), shows that social collateral also works through reputation effects on group members as necessary to maintain their social standing in the community. Classical financial institutions typically require the existence of collateral as security before granting loans to a client. However, low income levels and the lack of assets would exclude most people in developing countries from obtaining credit from standard banks. Microfinance institutions apply the concept of group-lending. Instead of requiring collateral from each individual, they use peer pressure and social selectivity to increase repayment rates and hedge against default risk. 2.2.3 Small scale savers Small scale savers are the individuals mainly working in the jua kali sector and other informal employment who are earning low salaries making it hard for them to save a big proportion of their income. Most individuals also do not hold bank accounts since their basic earnings per days is too small that they find no need to operate a bank account and instead carry the cash or invest them in them in the micro finance institutions. Carlton et al., (2001:20) state that MFI clients tend to cluster around the poverty line and most beneficiaries of the MFI services are neither poor nor affluent and tend to come from households that usually meet their daily needs. In addition, the JCC study (2006:9) points out that, microfinance clients are typically the informal sector and registered micro-entrepreneurs. On the contrary, the clients of microfinance in Kenya include individuals with full-time jobs, government officials and those that do not have access to commercial banks. Despite the exponential growth experienced in the last couple of years as well as the growing success in reaching the unbanked, many low income households still continue to lack access to formal or semi-formal financial services (Kohen, Hopkins, & Lee, 2008). Microfinance banks (“microbanks”) target low-income communities, and most make loans without requiring collateral (or are far more flexible than most mainstream commercial banks about the kinds of collateral required to secure loans). They are micro not because of their
institutional scale but because of the scale of typical transactions with customers (Cull, Demirguc, Morduch, 2013) If the growth of microfinance has demonstrated nothing else, large numbers of low-income borrowers can be served while achieving a remarkably high level of repayment (Cull, Demirguc, Morduch, 2013) Schreiner and Colombet (2001, p.339) define microfinance as “the attempt to improve access to small deposits and small loans for poor households neglected by banks.” Therefore, microfinance involves the provision of financial services such as savings, loans and insurance to poor people living in both urban and rural settings who are unable to obtain such services from the formal Banks (Besley, 2002). Micro finance institutions provide small-scale financial services to poor people who are otherwise “excluded from the formal banking sector” (Morduch, 1999, p. 1569) and standard financial systems.
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