Capacity Building

Symbiotics Capacity Building enhances access to affordable housing for smallholder farmers and microentrepreneurs in Kenya

April 4, 2024

In a collaborative effort with Juhudi Kilimo Company Ltd “JKL”, Symbiotics Capacity Building, the managing entity of REGMIFA’s Technical Assistance Facility, has unveiled a 24-months technical assistance project aimed at scaling up housing microfinance in Kenya. JKL is a Kenyan microfinance institution that specializes in financing smallholder farmers and microentrepreneurs.

With funding from REGMIFA, Symbiotics Capacity Building  facilitates the design and roll-out of JKL’s housing micro loan with the support of Housing Development Finance Consultants Africa “HDFC” Ltd. as technical assistance provider. HDFC is one of the few consulting firms in Africa dedicated to the development and growth of the affordable housing finance in the region. The support encompasses product development, training of JKL staff and the housing value chains actors, and promotes sustainable green housing technologies. In addition, HDFC will oversee the pilot and rollout of the product across JKL’s branch network.

Following a competitive tender process in December 2023 conducted by the TAF Manager, HDFC was selected for the implementation of this EUR 150,000 project to support JKL with the design and piloting of the new housing microfinance product.

The loans will provide access to medium-term affordable incremental housing finance to the small-scale farmers and micro-entrepreneur clients of JKL in Kenya. At the end of the pilot, at least 2,000 households are expected to benefit from housing microloans by JKL.

Through this TA project Symbiotics Capacity Building is happy to continue its 8-year relationship with JKL supporting the housing finance product that will help thousands of its clients improve their housing conditions. The project will contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11:  Access to affordable housing.”, said Bezant Chongo, Symbiotics Head of Capacity Building.

“At JKL, our core belief centres around empowering dreams and uplifting communities through cutting-edge financial solutions. Our collaboration with Symbiotics Capacity Building and REGMIFA represents a significant stride in our dedication to fostering sustainable progress. With their invaluable support, we’re thrilled to initiative this venture aimed at introducing a tailored housing micro loan to cater to the unique needs of smallholder farmers and micro-entrepreneurs throughout Kenya. Over the course of this 24-month endeavor, we’re not only extending our reach but also engaging various stakeholders to promote the adoption of sustainable technology. Together, we’re not just facilitating loans; we’re constructing homes, enriching lives, and sculpting a brighter future.”, stated Bernard Kivava, JKL CEO.

Housing microfinance involves understanding how people are constructing their homes and providing support based on their needs, preferences, and capacities. Due to income volatility, over 80% of Africa’s population builds incrementally, with many working in the informal sector. This makes them less appealing for traditional mortgage products in the market, hence housing microfinance provides an alternative sustainable path to home ownership.”, said Stephen Wanjala, HDFC Executive Director.


About Symbiotics Capacity Building
Symbiotics is the leading market access platform for impact investing, dedicated to private markets in emerging and frontier economies. The group offers investment, asset management and capacity building services. Symbiotics Capacity Building has managed over USD 18 million in technical assistance commitments from donors and generated over 145 technical assistance projects in 26 countries, benefiting 64 of our portfolio companies. Since 2011 and starting with the launch of its showcase mandate the TA Facility of the Regional MSME Investment Fund for Sub-Saharan Africa Fund “REGMIFA TAF”, Symbiotics Capacity Building has been developing expertise in TA, aiming to maximize the impact of the investments and to strengthen the outreach and institutional capacity of financial and non-financial partners. 

About REGMIFA TA Facility
REGMIFA’s Technical Assistance Facility complements the financial services delivered to the investees of the Fund. The Facility is key to the Fund’s value proposition and its activities are complementary to other industry initiatives in the region. REGMIFA offers provides support to clients in the field of inclusive finance/microfinance, development finance, small and medium size enterprises (SME) finance (leasing factoring etc.), green finance and agriculture finance with specific projects focusing on topics such as governance, management, business planning, risk management, credit products, savings and non-credit product development, social performance management, institutional development and transformation and digital financial services.

About Juhudi Kilimo Company Ltd.
Juhudi Kilimo started in 2004 as an agriculture micro lending initiative under the K-Rep Development Agency and by 2009, it had developed into an independent for-profit social enterprise with the mission to improve the livelihoods of rural smallholder farmers and micro-entrepreneurs by providing wealth-creating financial solutions. The institution’s main focus is on financing agriculture and backing various value chains and business ventures that provide farmers and micro-entrepreneurs with both immediate and sustainable income through defined loan products under agriculture, business, and consumer loans. By doing so it aims to alleviate poverty, enhance food security, and promote sustainable agricultural practices in Kenya.

About Housing Development Finance Consultants “HDFC” Africa Ltd.
HDFC is a consortium of associate consultants from Africa  and Asia comprising Housing and Development Finance experts that was launched in 2017. HDFC’s strategic advice, technical assistance, and impactful training enables microfinance institutions, commercial banks, cooperatives and community based small enterprises  to render innovative, efficient and sustainable products and services including incremental, affordable housing solutions to smallholder farmers and  microentrepreneurs. HDFC consultants works with public, private, and third-party sectors in Africa and beyond to create affordable housing systems for low and middle-income households.


For more information, contact
Roberta Maurutto, Corporate Communication Specialist, Symbiotics

David Njiru, Chief Business Officer, Juhudi Kilimo Kenya Ltd.