News Column

UTT Brings Financial Services Closer to Entrepreneurs

August 21, 2014

UTT Microfinance Plc, on Thursday marked an important milestone after launching 10 branches in different parts of the country to bring closer to entrepreneurs financial services, particularly less expensive loans.

Finance and Economic Affairs Deputy Minister, Mr Mwigulu Nchemba, who graced the event said the government was fully supporting the initiative to spread out its wings to various parts of the country.

The event was also attended by directors from various institutions, companies and entrepreneurs. In one year period, UTT Microfinance is already offering eight different loan products, insurance and banking brokerage and mobile money super agent.

The branches were launched in Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Dodoma, Mbeya, Mwanza and Zanzibar. Mr Nchemba said government objectives to establish the UTT Microfinance was to empower small scale businesses that failed to access loan facilities from commercial lenders that have been putting stringent conditions.

"One of the conditions that most commercial lenders demand from borrowers are collateral, in particular, immovable assets like house or plot, which have been difficult for small scale entrepreneurs to possess," he said.

"The UTT Microfinance services will contribute immensely in empowering Tanzanians, thus complimenting government efforts to improve livelihood and alleviate abject poverty."

The UTT MFI Board Chairman, Ambassador Fadhili Mbaga, pledged to work tirelessly to ensure the microfinance institutions in collaboration with stakeholders meet the setup objectives, particularly having efficient financial systems that will reach the unbankable population.

"We appreciate the government support, which is a challenge for the microfinance to surpass the setup targets. We request the government to continue linking us with various stakeholders in order to expand the UTT Microfinance network to reach more people," The UTT MFI, James Washima, said,

"The one year experience shows that there is great need for financial services, particularly loan accessibility to small scale entrepreneurs. Thus the establishment of the UTT MFI was a right decision and will provide solution to the problem."

He said of the 10 branches, four are found in Dar es Salaam --Sukari House, Azikiwe, Kijitonyama and Chang'ombe. Others are Ngarenaro and Meru in Arusha Region, Post office building in Dodoma Region, KKKT in Mbeya Region, at Post office building in Mwanza and in Zanzibar at Post office building.

One of the achievements in one year period, he said was to increase the institution capital to 12bn/- by June this year from 5.4bn/- last year. Also the institution managed to disburse loans worth 5.316bn/- to 6,102 people, of whom 84 per cent are women.

Other tailor made services established included health insurance; contract financing loans, group loans, SACCOS loans, value addition loans as well as loans targeting government employees.

One of the challenges, he said, was the emerging fake microfinance institutions with the name of providing loans to small scale entrepreneurs, which instead of helping them, it leads them to poverty.

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Source: AllAfrica

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