KELLY NJOMBO, Lusaka
IN AN effort to enhance access to finance among the formal and informal sectors, JMAAC Financial Services, a local microfinance lending, institution has set aside about K5 million in the first phase.
JMAAC also plans to triple the amount to reach out to more clientele in the informal sector in future.
Company executive chairman Jeremy Chibuye said in an interview on Friday after the official launch of the financial service centre, that the countryâ€™s economic gains will not have an impact on the livelihoods of citizens until financial services are accessible among the masses.
He said most people are still facing challenges in accessing finance, and that the launch of the lending institution will help bridge the gap.
â€œWe have set aside about K5 million in our first phase which we will give out in form of loans to the formal and informal sector [this year] to help enhance access to finance.
â€œAnd in a couple of months, we want to triple the amount and reach out to more clientele who are in the informal sector. Our main goal is to bridge the gap on access to finance which is still huge,â€ Mr Chibuye said.
The lending institution which targets the formal and informal sector, small-scale farmers and marketeers, also plans to expand to minibus and taxi drivers.
Mr Chibuye said the financial sector is critical to the market and the economy, because it drives enterprises and allows people to grow their businesses to the next level.
In a separate interview, JMAAC chief executive officer Musanchi Simbeye said Zambiaâ€™s financial sector in its current set-up does not adequately address the unique needs of micro lending to small businesses.
Ms Simbeye said the financial institution has engaged the Zambia National Marketeers Credit Association (ZANAMACA) to give out loans to marketeers as a way of empowering them.
She said access to finance among marketeers will bring tangible growth that will help grow their businesses as well as contribute to national economic development.
And ZANAMACA president Frank Kameya said the initiative to target marketeers will help them grow their businesses.
KELLY NJOMBO, Lusaka