The research attempted to ascertain if a Sacco as an enterprise, which operates in an economic environment just like any other business entity, desires growth not only for survival, but also for its prosperity. In a co-operative enterprise, the members learn the principles of democratic governance, transparency and their involvement in management of a collectively owned enterprise (Kobia, 2011). Kobia further says that co-operatives have a unique advantage in addressing problems of poverty, wealth creation and its equitable distribution; social well being and transformational development of communities and society in general. He further observes that co-ops have helped to build the economies of the developed world and can be used to a greater extent to expand and transform the economies of developing countries such as Kenya. Growth of Saccos The global statistics indicate that in the year 2011, 100 countries had credit co-operatives that numbered 51,013 with a membership of 196,498,738 (WOCCU, 2012). In the year 2009, globally there were 49,330 credit co-operatives with a membership of 183,916,050 which indicated growth globally. The WOCCU statistical report also indicated that Kenya is leading in membership, number of credit co-operatives and savings mobilization in the African continent. The statistics further show that Kenya ranks number seven (7) globally in savings mobilization.
3 Global Member Statistics Year COUNTRIES CREDIT UNIONS (SACCOS) MEMBERS 2011 100 51013 196,498,738 2010 100 52945 187,986,967 2009 97 49330 183,916,058 Source: WOCCU Statistical Report 2012. In Kenya, the growth in the co-operative movement has been witnessed in the areas of number of new co-operatives registration, savings, turnover, surplus; share capital and membership, and computerization as will be highlighted in this research. According to the Co-operative Digest (MOCD & M, 2008), co-operatives in Kenya remain friendlier in offering credit and products to the small scale firms and traders and if they coalesced into bigger unions, they would become profitable financial institutions that would be able to face stiff competition in the sector. For this to be realized, co-operative leaders must accept to give up positions held in their respective small co-operatives in order to accommodate mergers for the interest of their members. The journal further adds that the ministry of co-operative development and marketing has put up measures in place to develop co-operatives which will provide young people –across all sectors of the economy –with opportunities to grow and be self reliant. On the growth of the co-operative movement, the co-operative Digest adds that the Sacco sector is growing very rapidly –20% per annum –and has the potential for further growth to be able to serve the un-banked segment of the population. It says growth will further be accelerated with
4 enactment of the Sacco Legislation. The legislation aims at ensuring that members‟ savings are safe and sound, and in effect result in requisite confidence vital for any financial intermediary.