Women’s Bank disburses $224,5m loans

Sithembiso Nyoni

THE Zimbabwe Women’s Microfinance Bank (ZWMB) disbursed loans worth $224 552 647 and facilitated the opening of 98 876 accounts last year to support female entrepreneurship, NewsDay Business has learnt.

The bank, established in 2018 to support aspiring female entrepreneurs, wants to support women living in rural areas with limited access to conventional commercial banks.

In an interview with NewsDay Business last week, Women’s Affairs, Small and Medium Enterprises Development minister Sithembiso Nyoni said the bank disbursed $224,5 million to support financial inclusion and entrepreneurship among women.

“The Zimbabwe Women Microfinance Bank has performed exceptionally well since its establishment. The bank has become a vital conduit in promoting financial inclusion and entrepreneurship for women through the opening of banking accounts and facilitating the provision of business loans,” she said.

“These business loans include group loans, working capital, capital expenditure and value chain financing. As of the end of 2021, the bank has facilitated the opening of 98 876 accounts for women and has disbursed loans amounting to $224 552 647.”

As a result of the loans, the ZWMB created 123 019 jobs and sustained 153 771 jobs.

The revelation by Nyoni comes over a month after the bank’s chief executive officer, Mandas Marikanda revealed that demand for loans to female-led companies was robust, with four million potential recipients currently financially excluded.

She was speaking at the Women’s Executive Leadership Roundtable in Kariba, a conference organised by CEO Africa Roundtable.

  •  Follow us on Twitter@NewsDayZimbabwe