Cumo Microfinance Limited, a new microfinance institution, will soon start its operations in Chikhwawa to improve over 4 000 poor households with access to soft loans.
Briefing the district executive committee (DEC) members on Thursday at the District’s Council Hall, the operations manager for Cumo Microfinance Limited, Gilbert Jangasiya, said it was the expectation of his office that the beneficiaries will invest the money positively.
Jangasiya said Cumo a part of Concern Universal, aims to reach out to the poor masses in villages who also need financial services and wish to save for tomorrow, they also need to borrow and they need health care among others which Cumo will consider it in a form of insurance.
“We at Cumo target the 80 percent of women whilst the rest is for men because we need to empower women. We have an objective which is to provide services at village level and it’s our aim that people have self employment through businesses they conduct,” he said.
He added that it was the aim of Cumo to encourage the communities to save and help one another through Village Savings and Loans (VSLs) which the financial institution will boost their capital through the loans it will offer at the interest rate of 9 to 12 percent.
According to Jangasiya, the groups to access the loans should consist of ten or more people engaged in various small businesses.
“The funds are available to go to another district in this case, Chikhwawa and before we give out loans, we do an analysis. We don’t just lend out but we need people that are doing business with an emphasis on the middle poor so that they go to the level of upper poor,” he added.
In his speech, Noel Dakamau, who chaired the presentations during the meeting, asked the new comers to walk the talk, saying a lot of people in the district have suffered due to dishonesty of most microfinance services.
“When you come here to offer such services, do that for the benefit of both you as a company as well as the people who are your clients and not for your own,” he said.
Headquartered in Dedza, the institution which is a Malawian and regulated by the Reserve Bank of Malawi as a non-deposit is in 14 districts and has so far given out over K800 million from January to June this year.