In this current economic climate, it is extremely difficult for entrepreneurs to access funding or loans
without a litany of documents, business proposals and/or some sort of collateral. Mrs. Lynn Gwenzi,
Marketing and Business Development Manager of VIRL Financial Services came to Impact Hub Harare on
July 18, 2018 to discuss their flexible micro-finance services with our members. VIRL wants to change
lives through micro-finance therefore their focus is on development and financial inclusion.
We were all inspired by the story of two women working in a commercial bank, who saw other women
on the streets that couldn’t access the loans in their institution and so decided to change that. VIRL
started with only five members in one of the founder’s bedrooms and now it has 12 branches with 51
staff members and 5,000 clients. They work with partners and have a bias towards women and youth. Mrs
Gwenzi highlighted how amazing it has been to see the shift in youth from going to school to just get a
job to graduates creating initiatives that will create employment for themselves and others. VIRL also
works with small-holder farmers, SMEs and micro enterprises.
Their products include but are not limited to:
– Agricultural loans
– Life enhancement loans
– Asset Finance Loans
– General Working Capital Loans
– Value Chain Financing
VIRL continues to learn from its partners and they’ve managed to create a platform for the under-
banked and unbanked with a particular focus on rural communities. The MIS system they use allows
them to access real time data on their target groups. For example, out of the 5000 clients VIRL works
with, 67% of them are women. Their flexible structure is responsive to ever changing needs and ensures
that they work efficiently with partners, clients and other stakeholders.
The morning ended with coffee and biscuits by our lovely garden patio as Mrs. Gwenzi was approached
with a list of questions by interested members.
For more information about VIRL’s services please visit www.virlmicrofinance.co.zw.