Empower Bank issues loans to 7 000 youths


Government says 7 192 youths have accessed loans through the Empower Bank to carry out projects around the country.

Access to finance has been one of the biggest challenges faced by youths and women in the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector.

Minister of State for Presidential Affairs in charge of implementation and monitoring, Joram Gumbo , said in an interview with NewsDay Business that the move was meant to enhance the ease of access to low-cost loans.

“In 2018, the second republic established Empower Bank for the Youth and Zimbabwe Women Microfinance Bank (ZWMB) for women for ease of access to low-cost loans,” the minister said.

“A total number of 7 192 youths accessed loans to implement their projects across the country and ZWMB managed to open a total of 115 434 accounts for women as individuals or in groups countrywide, as at June 2022. The two banks are accessible in every province,” he said.

Last year, ZWMB said it had disbursed 11 243 loans worth $134 012 406 (US$321 928) to women projects in various sectors, including agriculture, livestock and manufacturing. Cumulatively, the bank has disbursed 97 423 loans worth $224 552 647 (US$539 426) since June 2018.

Meanwhile, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Corporation fund which targets MSMEs which want to upscale and expand their businesses also disbursed $405 557 982 in loans, with 43% of the funding being disbursed to women entrepreneurs.

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