For small businesses in Somalia, this firm could be an ethical boon

When you’ve beaten hundreds of other businesses to win a coveted award, you can be reasonably certain that you’ve done something right. Now that Kaah International Microfinance Services (KIMS) has walked away with the top prize at the 2017 Ethical Finance Innovation Challenge and Awards (EFICA) held in November, it has a strong reason to feel good about the work it has done.

The annual event, which is co-organised by Thomson Reuters and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, offers a cash prize of $100,000 for the top innovative solution that promotes ethical practice in the financial services industry. Somalia-based KIMS beat the remaining two finalists, British asset management firm Arabesque and Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund, after winning over the audience with its final public pitch.

My Salaam caught up with Mustafa Ali, the Dubai-based chairman of KIMS’ board of directors, to find out more about this company.

Tell us a little more about the company?

KIMS was conceived as a spin-off social enterprise by its parent company, Kaah Express. We recognised the vast unmet demand for financial services in Somalia and the role that sustainable microfinance can play in contributing to job creation, economic development, and peace and security.