Jasmine is a Success Officer and works within the Operations Team. Aside from reviewing loans application, she communicates closely with the entrepreneurs, supporting them throughout the loans program. She shared with us her experience so far.
Tell me about yourself and your role within Mkono.
My name is Jasmine and I'm a Success Officer at Mkono. I've been with this organization for almost a year now. What I do as a Success Officer is I support and I accompany 7 to 8 entrepreneurs when they need loans or when they request mentorship sessions.
When you receive a loan application, what do you look for?
When I receive a loan application, one of the main objectives is really to get to know the business from both qualitative and quantitative perspectives. Who are your customers? What are your main operations? Do they generate consistent revenue streams? And most importantly, what I'm looking for is passion, the entrepreneur's passion for their business and if they genuinely and strongly believe in their business, then it convinces me that we should believe in your business too and that makes the whole difference.
How would you describe your relationship with the entrepreneurs?
How I describe my relationship with the entrepreneur is a relationship of trust. It's an extremely enriching relationship and experience as we get to learn from each other's culture, each other's customs. And finally, it's a really fun and friendly relationship. This t-shirt was actually made by one of the entrepreneurs whom I was the Success Officer and this is the map of Kenya.
What happens when an entrepreneur can’t repay in time?
When an entrepreneur struggles to pay on time, the first step is really for us to be understanding and to try to put ourselves in the entrepreneur's shoes. Therefore, we will communicate with the entrepreneur and try to understand what they're going through. And sometimes, we will even offer a chat to the entrepreneur so that we can work out a repayment plan together that suits the entrepreneur's needs.
Do you recall any specific instances when you helped an entrepreneur solve a problem?
Once, there was this female entrepreneur that I supported and she struggled to repay us on time as her children were going back to school so that induced higher costs onto her hands and so the Mkono team, we decided to accommodate her situation by offering her the possibility of repaying us in smaller instalments but over a longer period of time. So for example, instead of repaying 10k KSH every month, she was able to pay 5k KSH every two weeks. So that took some pressure off her shoulders, she was able to repay us in full eventually. At Mkono, we’re always open to accommodate the needs and situations of every entrepreneur we serve.
And lastly, do you have any tips for entrepreneurs looking to applying to Mkono’s loans program?
Have a vision. How do you envision your business' growth? How do you plan on using the loan concretely? Just tell us your story and make us believe in your business. And if we do, then we would be more than happy to give you a hand.