MicroLoan Foundation Zimbabwe

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About MicroLoan Foundation Zimbabwe (MLF-Z)

Zimbabwe Map

The MicroLoan Foundation Zimbabwe (MLF-Z) is a not-for-profit specialist microfinance provider that was established in 2016 and is a registered Non-Banking Financial Institution regulated by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ). Its activities are overseen by the Microloan Foundation which has its headquarters in the UK and is regulated by the Charity Commission. MLF-Zim’s main activity is providing low-income women living in the Domboshava rural area, just north of Harare, with short-term loans of 4 months for business purposes. It lends exclusively to women.

What is MLF-Zim’s mission?

The MLF-Zim defines its mission as being to ‘significantly reduce the depth and breadth of poverty in the communities within which it operates.  It does this by lending money to groups of women to help them build sustainable businesses, and by providing meaningful training and on-going mentoring support.  The MLF-Zim’s organisational culture is entrepreneurial and it believes in applying the principles of good business management to charitable work.’

What types of financial services does MLF-Zim provide?

Primarily MLF-Zim offers short-term loans for productive ventures accompanied by a strong training component.  Most borrowers live in relatively isolated rural areas. All of the loans are disbursed and repaid via the ecocash mobile money platform. MLF-Zim does require borrowers to deposit 10% of the loan amount on the first loan cycle, and 20% on later cycles as savings and these are held within a mobile money account. Savings can be utilised by the members during the cycle of the loan, pending the approval of other members of their centre.

How much interest does MLF-Zim charge?

Microfinance institutions (MFIs) charge higher rates of interest for several reasons. Firstly, the administrative costs of making many small loans are much higher than making fewer larger loans; secondly, they take more time assessing the feasibility of applications and thereby reducing risk because borrowers cannot offer traditional forms of collateral nor do they have salaried incomes; thirdly MFIs often operate in geographically remote areas with low population densities and this means that they incur greater operational costs; and fourthly they often accompany loans with a range of training and technical advice. MLF-Zim charges a flat rate of interest of 7% per month. There is an interest rate ceiling in Zimbabwe of 10% per month. Unlike competitors in Zimbabwe, MLF does not charge additional fees on top of interest rates. MLF will reduce its interest rates once the operations have scaled and the costs of operating are spread across a larger portfolio of clients.

Does MLF-Zim provide any training?

Yes, MLF-Zim does provide extensive training for borrowers, often as frequently as every two weeks in their villages. Prior to disbursing the loan, training is in the following areas:

  • Products, procedures, interest rates and savings
  • Loan application and disbursement
  • Constitution planning or drafting
  • Leadership and responsibilities
  • Avoiding delinquency
  • Client rights and responsibilities
  • Budgeting and business plans
  • Use of the ECOCASH mobile money platform

After receiving the loan, training continues in the following areas:

  • Group support and what happens when things go wrong
  • Setting savings goals
  • Market research
  • Costs, profits and pricing
  • Doing a business growth plan
  • Appropriate loan sizes
  • Revision of constitution and loan application

Where can I find out more information about MLF-Zim?

Further information about the organisation can be found at http://www.microloanfoundation.org.uk

 

Microloan Foundation: Basic facts and figures

Full name:

 

Microloan Foundation

Established:

 

2016

Average loan size:

 

$115.82

Number of active borrowers:

 

110

Proportion of loans given to women:

 

100%

Gross loan portfolio:

 

$8,939.50

Portfolio at Risk (PAR) at 30 days:

 

0%

 

Zimbabwe: Facts and figures

Population:

 

16.36 million

Life expectancy at birth:

 

57 years

Adult literacy rate:

 

86.5%

Access to improved water source:

 

77%

Infant mortality rate:

 

47 per 1,000 live births

Maternal mortality rate:

 

443 per 100,000 live births

GDP per capita:

 

US$931.2

Inflation:

 

-2.19%

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