Gillian Hyde, the general manager of JN Small Business Loans Limited, has made predictions of a consistent demand for microcredit in2018. The new loans are expected to be a range of 30-40 percent based on the requirements from the previous trends. In the 2017 fiscal year, Hyde wrote $4.2 billion of new loans and the predicted level of the original businesses would push the value above $5 billion. According to Hyde, the JN group hopes to promote the development of better saving habits and making of investments in education, healthcare, and other essential aspects. The company is committed towards the development of their clientele.
JNSBL which is the premier micro and small business institution in Jamaica has outranked many microlenders and swallowed some of the companies. It is among the leading microfinance institutions with a $2.7 billion asset base by the end of March 2017. The company has witnessed an average growth of 30, and 40 percent and Hyde predicts that the growth will continue based on the growth of the demand for loans. The micro-financing sector has a lot of players that are mostly private. JNSBL distributed loans in different areas inclusive of retail, distribution, tourism, and manufacturing among others.
Women have become the point of focus in policy development over the past decades owing to the grounded belief that the economic inclusion of women is one of the most unexploited opportunities for life improvement. Microfinance became prominent in the 1990s and 2000s for successful ventures in women borrowers and micro entrepreneurs. The success rates and global achievements in women’s economic empowerment initiatives are promising.
However, despite this, there is mounting evidence that directing these projects only towards women while neglecting men may make them less efficient in helping women in the long run. When men are not treated with the same resources and advantages as the women, they are likely to feel they are losing their power relative to women. As a result, they are likely to undermine these same projects. Most especially, given that they still control most of the resources.
Women may lead and have it all, but they cannot do it all by themselves. Keeping in mind that most social structures are still patriarchal, focusing on women alone may come out as counterproductive or even very harmful. Excluding men drive them to feel disempowered and as such oppose the same women involved or interfere with their success. Were men to be given equal access to loans and training or made aware of the importance of project participation they may not as much lash out against female project participants.
People living in Sub-Saharan Africa comprise a large proportion of unbanked people. Recently, countries such as Kenya established interest rates ceiling that has increased restrictions to credits as traditional lenders impose more rigid requirements before granting loans to the people. Over the years, many microfinance institutions have sprouted to help the citizens access financial services. Musomi Kenya, which is based in Nairobi was launched in 2010 and currently serves 40,000 clients with loans ranging between US$5 and $3,000. In revolutionizing their products and services, the company makes use of M-Pesa which is a mobile money platform where they make loan disbursements to their clients who can also use the platform to make the loan repayments. Their repayment rates are at 97. The CEO OF Musomi, Stanley Munyao spoke during the MasterCard Foundation’s 2017 Symposium whose focus was financial inclusion.
Munyao said that Microfinance institutions face the challenge of onboarding customers and maintaining the relationships but partnerships are a great solution to the problem. The firm has cooperated with different companies that provide products and services serving people whose income is low. Some of the partners include d.light which distributes off-grid solar to provide services to their clients. It has also partnered with FarmDrive that analyses know-your-customer (KYC) databases to determine the creditworthiness of clients. The company further financial training to its customers and empower their growth and the growth of communities.
All Yashoda of Periyavoor, Tamil Nadu needed was access to finances to start small businesses as an aspiring entrepreneur. The rising household expenses and overly relying on her husband’s salary worried her. She wanted to open a little provisional store in her area of residence. She knew the people around her well and had an idea of what to sell but how and where would she start?
When she learned about Inditrade, Yashoda did not hesitate to approach the company that was quick to give her access to financial services as well as education on how to manage her business. A loan of Rs 30,000 nurtured her dream of becoming a business owner in a business that gives her approximately Rs 300-Rs 800 daily, Yashoda`s husband supports her through managing the store which empowers them to send their children to good schools.
Inditrade Capital launched their micro-financing arm that operates in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu in March 2017 to support women entrepreneurs in their endeavors. The company recognizes that it is the small businesses that form the foundation of the economy in India. The demand for credit in the unorganized sector in the country was thus bigger than the funds supplied prompting the company to launch strategies to address the demand and supply challenges. The company has improved lives through the provision of much-needed capital to establish and develop small businesses and has witnessed while being part of the numerous success stories.
Microcredit institutions are embracing technological advancements to expand their customer reach and revolutionize their services. The KCB Bank in Rwanda, a subsidiary of the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Group recently created and launched Mobiloan to enable their customers to acquire small loans for emergencies and re-stocking purposes. Mobile will empower the users to obtain funds through mobile banking which will significantly increase financial inclusion. Customers will access loans of up to USD 585 through Mobiloan which shall be required to be paid within 30 days and carry an interest of 6%. The KCB group began its operations in 1896 as a unit of the National Bank of India and has advanced and developed establishing growth in different countries inclusive of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Burundi
A customer will be able to use Mobiloan on condition that they have an account with KCB and register for KCB MOBI. John Karamuka, the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) who is the director in charge of payments urged other banks to commit themselves to transparency and ensure the protection of consumer rights as they embrace new and improved technology. Products like Mobiloan make financial services affordable and reliable for it is an improvement of financial services in a country and advances inclusion.
With the continuous rise in the cost of living, many women have taken on small business to feed their families in Saint-Louis market in Senegal. The business rage from selling food out in the streets and fruits as well. Microcredit has enabled these women and other small business owners to access finances to facilitate their business as they struggle to make their way out of poverty. Microcredit has empowered entrepreneurs to put their entrepreneurial ideas into action and improve their lives and the community as well. Fatoumata Camara, director, JUMIA Nigeria described microcredit as an incredible opportunity that has developed the framework of alternative participatory financing. Feedback from the small business owners has proved that microfinance has facilitated the growth and development of their businesses because accessing credit or capital is almost impossible to people especially Africans where poverty levels are significantly high.
The alternative financing has seen the development and success of startups and growth of companies which have resulted in reduced levels of unemployment among the communities. Thiaba Camara, Chief Operating Officer, AFIG Funds, has observed the developments achieved in Africa and other developing countries through microcredit as their financial instruments. The impact of microfinance can be celebrated widely in Senegal as microcredit institutions make daily pursuits to reach a higher audience.
In an article on devex.com, Aaron Baum explains the competency of microfinance as the distribution, networking group meetings, and the added value of organizing vulnerable populations in rural areas of from low-income countries into a platform. Microfinance is not merely a bank that ends money to groups but a platform that extends finances access to over 200 million households globally by distributing loans to them. The traditional microfinance gives loans to self-informed groups of entrepreneurs organized into credit centers with constant meetings in remote villages. The meetings promote social capital and reduce loan defaults, but their impacts on poverty reduction have remained mixed. Microfinance can explore the possibility of providing their services with a stronger evidence base apart from the loans.
According to research conducted Arnhold Institute for Global Health in collaboration with Fonkoze, the most significant MFI in Haiti, microfinance can and does provide other services apart from loans. Microfinance services have extended to heath through micronutrient supplements that fight malnutrition efficiently. Illness tends to result in poverty and poverty also results in sickness and the integration of microfinance to health care is a significant move in service provision. Microfinance can increase coverage to the existing health interventions to their clients which will grant them access to the essential health services inclusive of health delivery. Using microfinance networks to deliver health lifesaving products is a promising approach in this field.