Preliminary Research Results 2017

Grassroots Economics currently facilitates Community Currency programs for 1140 businesses across 5 communities which report both social and economic impacts. A new program currently started in Kwale country without impact data. Both community demographics as well as impact of the Community Currency programs were surveyed.

Results by Community


  • Location: Mombasa
  • Businesses: 218
  • Circulation: 87,200 (ksh equivalent)
  • Time in circulation: 4 years (Since 2013)
  • Cooperative Backing: Retail shop


  • Location: Nairobi
  • Businesses: 258
  • Circulation: 103,200
  • Time in circulation: 3 years (Since 2014)
  • Cooperative Backing: Wholesale Shop


  • Location: Nairobi
  • Businesses: 218
  • Circulation: 87,200 (ksh equivalent)
  • Time in circulation: 2 years (Since 2015)
  • Cooperative Backing: Supporting Schools


  • Location: Nairobi
  • Businesses: 242
  • Circulation: 96,800 (ksh equivalent)
  • Time in circulation: 2 years (Since 2015)
  • Cooperative Backing: Retail Shop


  • Location: Mombasa
  • Businesses: 203
  • Circulation: 81,200 (ksh equivalent)
  • Time in circulation: 2 years (Since 2015)
  • Cooperative Backing: Tailoring


  • Location: Kwale
  • Businesses: 20
  • Circulation: 8,000
  • Time in circulation: New (August 2017)
  • Cooperative Backing: Maize Milling

Social Impacts:

Environmental Services: 57% of members (684) report Community Currency being used for environmental programs (Such as trash collection and community gardens)

Willing to continue: 93% of members (1114) want the program to continue and increase the amount of Sarafu-Credit in the community.

Education: 23% of members report using Sarafu-Credit for school fees (276 students with increased education)

Trust: 77% of members say that trust in the community has increased.

Gifting: When asked “How much over the last month did you give (in money professional services and time) to support people or groups without expecting compensation?”

Non-using Groups averaged 191 KSH (equivalent) Monthly

Community Currency users averaged 855 KSH (equivalent) monthly.

347.48% Higher amounts of gifting for those using Community Currency

Economic Impacts:

Usage with Kenyan Shillings: Based on 505 businesses surveyed across 5 networks an average of 36.6% of sales are being accepted in Community Currency:

Food Security: 6% increase in daily food purchases are being made by members using Community Currency

Job Creation: 17% of members report hiring new employees because of the program (206 jobs created). This is over a 100% increase from baseline.

Customers: 57% of members report increases to customers and 65% report increases to sales because of the program.

Member retention: Overall we have issued a zero-interest credit to 1700 members totaling roughly 7200 EUR and retained 1140 members (95%).

Community Currency usage over time. (Average daily amount of CC usage). We find the longer people are in the program the more Community Currency they are using.



When asked what was the main impact of the program there was a close split between social and and economic impacts.

Social and Economic impacts broken down:

*These findings will be published in more detail in the next few months. Contact us if you would like to be informed when the data is published. **Baseline data collection started in November and continues for new members. Data were collected by trained surveyors using Android phones and Open Data Kit. Report compilation and data analyses was done by Thibaud Dezyn and Will Ruddick.