NEWSSEED MUKANDO MICRO-SAVINGS SCHEME2013-11-14
Long-time supporters may recall that SEED has previously made interest-free micro-finance loans to groups that have completed our skills development courses, helping them to launch their own businesses.
At our recent horticultural show, we brought in micro-business consultants to inform the small-holders in Murehwa about a savings and lending initiative known as Mukando, or "giving to each other". Having provided the group with subsequent training and signed off all the required formalities with the local authorities, we have now launched the first SEED Mukando micro-savings scheme in the district.
Members agree to pool a fixed amount of money on a regular basis, for instance $5 per month, and are then able to draw out small loans for a nominal rate of interest. These loans may be made to individuals or for group projects, but are only made for income-generating projects. In effect, the group operates as its own bank and encourages its members to think creatively about how they might invest money so as to make a profit.
At the end of each year, savings are shared out and can be used to invest in more substantial purchases. Other similar groups, some of which have been operating for up to eight years, have been able to buy goats and cattle or business equipment, such as solar panels and grinding mills. One particularly successful 30-member group that was formed 11 months ago has already managed to raise $9,000. Another smaller group, with 18 members, raised $4,500 and recently used this money to purchase fertiliser for the new growing season.
The goal of the scheme is empowerment of disadvantaged communities through ownership of income-generating projects implemented by the beneficiaries. The cost: an average of just £20 to provide each group member with an initial five days of intensive training. Please make a donation today to enable us to launch further micro-savings groups across Zimbabwe.
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