The journey of the institution now known as Echo Network Africa (ENA) goes back thirty six years ago when the institution was founded under the Kenya Women Microfinance Institution (KWFT).

Over those three decades, KWFT continued providing financial and non-financial services to women entrepreneurs until 2009 when the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) introduced new rules to regulate the micro-finance sector. This led to the creation of two institution namely;The KWFT being the lending institution and Kenya Women Holding (KWH) providing development services. This separation of roles was effected in April 2010 with KWFT remaining a fully owned subsidiary of KWH.

By March 2014, KWFT had grown to become a full fledged bank regulated fully by the CBK. KWH divested its shareholding in KWFT from 100% to 25% in compliance with the CBK rules and regulations.

To date, KWFT Bank remains an Associate Company of the KWH. On its part, the KWH established a niche in providing various non-financial services, advocating for the inclusion of women in democratic processes and especially in leadership as well as engaging women in development initiatives in various sectors such as agriculture, entrepreneurship, health as well as running mentorship programs for the youth.

The two institutions continued complementing each other in the service to the target groups. While this relationship was mutually beneficial, the downside was that the Bank was often confused with the Holding company and vise versa, hence the need to re-brand from KWH to Echo Network Africa (ENA) in order to differentiate the two brands and give each institution space to pursue their distinct functions.

In April 2018, ENA re-branded itself to become a catalyst for development working not only in Kenya but in the entire African Region. In its 2018-2022 Strategy Plan, ENA spells out its programmatic approach as primarily centered on ‘working with’ to spur development.

ENA’s programs are anchored on five major pillars, namely: Women Empowerment, Positioning, Advocacy, Youth Empowerment and Research and Innovation. ENA pursues an inclusive policy which aims at reaching out to women from all sectors including young women, women with disabilities and those from marginalized communities.

ENA collaborates with like-minded stakeholders, development partners, Community Based Organizations (CBO’s) National and County Governments to accelerate development.