Cooperative societies play a key role in promoting savings and credit facilities in many African countries. They act as an instrument to provide savings and credit services thereby raising the standard of living for the masses.
Cooperatives like SACCOs are encouraged by governments and higher authorities to bring more people into the financial space. They have gained pace as a major component of the financial system in countries like Tanzania, The Gambia, and Kenya.
These societies aim to serve the people with lower incomes who would face challenges to access finance from banks. They also contribute to the socio-economic development of women, youth, and people in rural areas. Thus, the growth of these societies becomes important as they continue to operate in this highly competitive environment.
Strategies for cooperative societies
Identifying and applying growth strategies for cooperative societies can help them gain a competitive advantage. Moreover, these strategies can impact the factors affecting the performance of SACCOs enabling them to achieve their mission. Lilly Macharia did a research paper on the strategies to spur growth at Stima SACCO, Kenya that provides deeper insights on how SACCOs in Africa can achieve more growth.
Good operational policies
Operational policies are general directives to define strategies and guide decisions to achieve organizational goals. These policies help smoothen the operations and address mistakes and hiccups in the process.
Developing good operational policies is essential for SACCOs as it can lead to a progressive environment, quality services, and consistent member support.
Product innovation involves developing or improving products and services. SACCOs product innovation can include new types of loans, insurances, flexibility in applying and repaying loans, and processing loan applications.
Offering new products and services can be valuable for SACCOs as it can increase
revenue. It can also create additional value for the members and make the process more effective and efficient while accessing financial services.
SACCOs can adopt diversification in response to the changing environment to enhance competitiveness, meet changing needs of members, develop personalized loan products, and generate more revenue.
SACCOs can adopt policies and procedures that can help them enhance efficiency and product diversification.
Expanding the target market
Expanding the target market refers to seeking new customers or markets willing to engage with the existing products and services. SACCOs may involve in moving to new markets or sectors to attract new members. This can be done by offering new kinds of services or more affordable loans to non-members.
Cooperative societies in African countries are operating in a highly competitive and dynamic environment. They face direct competition from banks and financial institutions in offering loans and credit facilities.
In order to respond to the challenges, adopting these strategies can help SACCOs meet members’ demands. And become more innovative in their ways of approaching the changing environment.