Tag Archives: FINCA

Farewell from FINCA Microfinance Bank

As I’m waiting to board my plane at Dar es Salaam airport I contemplate my last day at work.

What do you call it when you receive a warm welcome, get support throughout your assignment and appreciation in the end? In his farewell speech earlier today CEO Ed Greenwood talked about the FINCA family. And true, it feels like I have joined a family. I have gained many brothers and sisters in Tanzania (although age-wise some could be my kids).

Continue reading Farewell from FINCA Microfinance Bank

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The Complaints about High Interest Rates

FINCA’s loan officers apparently get a lot of complaints about  high perceived interest rates in Tanzania. Their credits starts at 2.5% interest per month, and depend on loan amount and borrower risk. One of FINCA’s competitors advertises loans with a yearly interest rate of 25%. Short of discussing usury and setting aside culturally influenced notions that an interest should not be paid but rather received (the Swiss national bank is still imposing negative interest rates on large amounts at the time of writing) we may just ask ourselves: What is better for the client? Continue reading The Complaints about High Interest Rates

I’m Working in Six Sigma – Six what?

Half of my assignment with FINCA Microfinance Bank Tanzania has almost passed – time to write about what I’m actually doing, as the objective was not entirely clear at the beginning.

FINCA Tanzania is embracing a methodology to improve processes called Six Sigma. We currently  use it to analyze account opening and other back-office processes. After visiting two branches in Dar es Salaam it became clear that we should be focusing on Continue reading I’m Working in Six Sigma – Six what?

Dodoma, the Powerless Capital of Tanzania

Last week’s business trip to Tanzania’s capital Dodoma has given me a very distinctive taste of Tanzania. I would never have guessed that anything else but Dar es Salaam is the country’s capital. Dar es Salaam has the industry, the workforce, the sea port, the embassies, the international airport, the companies and the traffic while Dodoma Continue reading Dodoma, the Powerless Capital of Tanzania

Why Do They Spend What They Don’t Have?

I grew up with a piggy bank. My generation was told by parents that it is important to save “for bad times”.  When bad times never came and I grew up I started to get a different idea of saving and the value of money. Yet I never considered credit except for buying a home. This one belief is hard to change: “Don’t spend what you don’t have.”

Yet the business model of microfinance institutions (MFIs) is based on the wish Continue reading Why Do They Spend What They Don’t Have?

How was my First Day with FINCA Tanzania?

Let me make a proper introduction first. This is Tanzanian style. Always ask “How are you?” first, follow suite and get to the point only after having heard “Welcome!” If you can’t wait to read how my day was, kindly jump to the bottom.

FINCA stands for the Foundation for International Community Assistance. John Hatch conceived “Village Banking” in 1984. His plan enabled poor Bolivian farmers with no collateral to access loans through a collective guarantee.  In 1985 Hatch established FINCA. Continue reading How was my First Day with FINCA Tanzania?

FINCA’s 30-year Anniversary

FINCA is Credits Suisse’s microfinance partner. It’s considered to be one of the most influential microfinance organizations in the world by Time Magazine. FINCA celebrated its 30-year anniversary in October 2014. Country CEOs, guests and partners joined global CEO Rupert Scofield in London. He summarized the last 30 years with British humour

“We came, we made a lot of loans and we got most of them back”

  • Operational in 22 countries, Nigeria coming up next
  • 1.8 million clients being served
  • $65 million raised in local currency notes through partner Credit Suisse
  • Daily experience of changing lives through 200-dollar loans