In the year 2000, Derrick Kiboneka a member of Young Workers ministry at the then Kampala Pentecostal Church and now Watoto Church tabled an idea about improving the life of people who participated in the church ministry by teaching them how to save. He sold the idea to a colleague, Mr Danstan Kisuule who was a member of Young Workers Ministry.
Together, they laid strategy and shared the idea with Pastor Joshua Mugabi who was the patron of the Young Workers ministry. They agreed and started a Savings and Credit Cooperative Organisation (Sacco) named Y-Save. However, they were a small group then, because not everyone trusted the idea immediately.
Initially, they did not have formal employees. They had individuals who voluntarily recorded members’ savings and followed up on the accounts. Due to the growing membership, they hired one person who received cash deposits where members initially saved Shs10,000 per month.
In 2013, Y-Save the Sacco turned into a company - Y-Save Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited to accommodate the growing members and savings. Currently, Y-Save employs 10 people including: the CEO, accountants, accounts officers, communications officer and Administration assistant. They obtained larger working space at Buganda Road and members now save Shs100,000 minimum every month.
Y-Save offers saving services. “We help members to save since this is the first step for one to have a successful financial journey,” says Barbra Asaba, the communications officer.
Ms Asaba adds that through the savings, they raise money and help members to get loans for development.
“We offer developmental loans and follow up so that members use the money for the intended purpose,” she adds.
Ms Asaba says they have introduced other saving packages including school fees account and saving for retirement especially among the self-employed, medical account and children’s account among others.
“Our latest service – the Investment club account will help our members start other businesses or money-generating ventures,” she says.
Worth of the business
Y-Save has had a very strong and consistent growth over time. The increase in number of members annually means growth in savings. The loan repayment benefits have also improved the worth of the business to more than Shs10 billion of savings, loan portfolios and Assets at cost value according to Mr Dunstan Kisuule, the CEO of Y-Save.
The biggest achievement is the growth Y-Save. “From an individual idea, we transitioned to a Sacco and now a multipurpose cooperative society limited,” says Mr Kisuule.
The investment club accounts are another big achievement since members will be able to create more money-generating ventures. So it is not only about saving but also development.
Since the economy is struggling, members find a hard time to save. Being a financial institution, “we have a challenge of finding viable investment options,” says Mr Kisuule.
He adds that with the huge sums of money on their accounts, it is good to invest. But being members’ money, it needs to be invested in a less risky business or a business guarantees returns on investment, something which is still a challenge.
Poor loan repayment discipline by some members though on a small scale slackens business.
Having saved money for close to 17 years now, members need Y-Save. The company hopes to start a manufacturing firm that will not only raise dividends for members but also offer employment opportunities.
By David S. Mukooza
Daily Monitor WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 25 2017