Visionary Empowerment Programme (VEP) is a Non- governmental organization started in 2006 with an aim to empower, motivate and alleviate poverty among communities’ especially rural women and youth in Kenya and to improve both the quality and accessibility of financial services available to them. VEP’s core business is micro lending in Central and Eastern Kenya. Its main clients are women who are in informal groups taking the form of Merry-go-round. The system allows rural women to save money, provide cushion aganist economic fluctuations as well as encourage cooperation and a community feeling.
Women are also patient enough to start small, take up small loans and work towards bigger projects. Since January VEP has sold over 15000 renewable energy products (75% through credit) reaching more than 20,000 people
Our projects revolve around Biogas construction, solar lighting and supply of Improved cook stoves (ICS). In the biogas sector we have partner with Kenya National Domestic Biogas Programme ( KENDBIP) to train masons and biogas supervisors as well as offer subsidy to our clients for quality control.Through SNV, we have partnered with Barefoot, Dlight and Trony East africa all of which supply quality solar lanterns approved by IFC/lighting Africa and from Paradigm Kenya (Ezy life) and East Africa Energy we get ICS.
We have also partnered with KIVA a macro fund in the US to boost our credit portfolio making it more friendly to those at the BoP.
VEP targets the most poor and vulnerable members of the society- women who live in households that own little or no assets. These are the women at the bottom of the pyramid facing financial challenges in investing in renewable energy technologies. Conventional banks shy away from lending to them because of high transactional costs and they lack collaterals. Groups formed and managed by VEP provide joint collateral and serve as instruments for spreading valuable information useful for economic and social progress.