Microfinancier Microcred Zimbabwe is targeting the unbanked and those in the small to medium enterprises (SMEs) offering loans ranging between $150 and $50 000.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
Currently, 70% of the adult population is unbanked while there are 5,7 million SMEs in the country, according to a 2014 Finscope survey.
Microcred Zimbabwe acting chief executive officer, Lloyd Borerwe told NewsDay on Tuesday that any business that has operated for at least a 12-month period qualified for financing.
“We start from as low as $150 and also provide support to SME’s who have larger requirements in terms of funding.
We currently do not do any start up financing. We give as much as $50 000 to any individual and there is a possibility to increase our loan limit as we assist our client. We value growth in our client business and we also want to grow with our clients and be able to meet their financial needs as they grow,” he said.
“The new shareholders have already provided both equity and debt funding to support the institutions and underwriting capacity. Our plan is to be able to meet demand for credit during the entire year of 2017, there is a huge demand for credit in the country and our goal is to be an accessible institution.”
Borerwe said on a month-on-month basis, the business has shown impressive signs of huge growth from the informal sector and SME business.
“We will undoubtedly position our brand as the preferred and ensure our brand equity will continue to grow in 2017 and beyond,” he added.
Microcred Zimbabwe, formerly MicroKing Finance (Pvt) Limited, was officially rebranded on Tuesday following a 70% and 30% shareholding acquisition by Microcred SAS and AfricInvest Financial Sector Limited respectively.
The acquisition was concluded and closed on the May 23, 2016.
Microcred SAS Africa chief executive officer, Ruben Dieudonne said the group saw an opportunity in Zimbabwe and acquired shares because they wanted to develop micro credit opportunity.
“MicroKing was an opportunity for us to start working in Zimbabwe. Discussions took long, I think more than one year. We saw the market opportunity and took it. Every country in Africa has challenges and Zimbabwe does as well.
But the market potential here is high when we see market potential against the competitors, I am confident of that potential,” he said.
Microcred SAS is a digital finance company championing financial inclusion in Africa and China and offering services particularly to the unbanked and SMEs.
Microcred Zimbabwe’s other shareholder, AfricInvest, has managed $1 billion in assets from a total of 130 African investments since 1994 to date and operates in 28 countries.
The company also has a 9% shareholding in NMB Bank.
“We are very optimistic of the high informal market in the country and expect to make returns,” AfricInvest representative Julius Tichelaar said.
Finance and Economic Development minister, Patrick Chinamasa said micro finance institutions must focus on SMEs and informal traders, who are into production to help spur economic growth in the country.