Mobile Loan Frequency of Repayment as a Predictor of the Financial Performance of SMEs in Urban Informal Settlements in Kenya

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Margaret Murage

Keywords

Loan Accessibility, Interest Rates, Repayment Timelines, Financial Performance, Small and Medium Enterprises, Urban Informal Settlements

Abstract

This study explored the effect of repayment timelines on the financial performance of SMEs in urban informal settlements in Kenya. This study adopts the descriptive survey design. Data were collected from 120 SMEs in the 6 wards of Mathare Sub-County. Data was collected using semi-structured questionnaires. It was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. From the study findings, it is evident that repayment timelines influenced the application for mobile loans. The ability to pay mobile loans without problems due to flexible repayment times also enhanced the performance of the respondents’ businesses. While loans with short repayment periods discouraged the businesses from borrowing due to immense pressure, long repayment periods were preferable since it meant that the stock purchased could be converted to cash. Budgeting could also be made easy due to the certainty of cash flow in long and flexible repayment periods. Lastly, a long repayment period meant that the intended use of the money borrowed could be realized. The study made the following recommendation based on the study objective. In this regard, most of the various mobile loan providers should put in place flexible repayment plans to make their loans appealing. They should also market their mobile loan products to make them visible since only 4, Safaricom-Fuliza, M-Shwari, Tala, and KCB-Mpesa were the most used. Civil society organizations in collaboration with mobile loan providers should also carry out capacity building campaigns among SMEs in informal settlements.

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