It was founded in 1998 under the name Yehu Enterprises Support Services (YESS). From the beginning, Yehu had a strong focus on the low income rural entrepreneurs and primarily women of Kenya and was dedicated to providing them with the appropriate products and services to better their economic position. YESS was a project of Choice Humanitarian Kenya, an International NGO based in the United States which focuses on ending poverty through sustainable community development. One of its major funders is the U.S based Pope Foundation, which was founded by an entrepreneur, Louis Pope who sits in the Board of the Trust and was instrumental in creating YESS with the collaboration of Dr. Rita Lugogo who also sits in the board.
YESS began with 300 female members in a small rural village in Kikoneni in the then Kwale District now Msambweni District located in Coast Province of Kenya. The initial group was formed to mobilize savings among its members, however the need for credit provision quickly became apparent, and in the year 2000 the first loans were issued.
Lending operations grew steadily after 2000 and Yehu continued to expand its geographical outreach. By the end of 2006, Yehu had established operations in 4 districts (Kwale, Kilindini, Mombasa and sections of Kilifi District) and reached a total of 8,970 members. This growth necessitated the creation of Yehu Microfinance Trust (YMT) in July 2007, making it an independent institution from Choice Humanitarian Kenya. Yehu Microfinance Trust (YMT) was then registered as a Kenyan Trust.