The Zimbabwean business fraternity has seen the rise of a ‘Financial Inclusion Evangelist’ whose deep desire is to transform people’s lives, particularly women and youths by ensuring that these marginalized groups are financially-included.
Growing up from the roots of Nembudziya, Gokwe in a partiriachal society, Ethel C Mupambwa had a dream become a successful businesswoman. She started living her dream soon after attaining a degree in Finance degree from National University of Science and Technology (NUST).
In 2014, Mupambwa founded a Microfinance institution called MMF. To date, MMF is Zimbabwe’s leading microfinance institution on a mission to transform people’s lives by creating sustainable wealth through the provision of unique, well researched financial solutions.
In an exclusive interview with BusinessMail ,Mupambwa considers herself a ‘Financial Inclusion Evangelist’ who have always been challenged to step into the gap to create the future that she want to see because she realized she is one of those the nation of Zimbabwe has been waiting for to change the lives of societies.
“My greatest inspiration behind MoneyMart was that I wanted a business which could help women uplift their small projects.I wanted to help any project, nomatter how small, even something as small as a tomato-vendor by the road side in her location.
I desire to see women everywhere become the Proverbs 31 woman who is empowered to take care of her own family, a woman who “considers a piece of land and buys it herself’- a financially empowered woman. I believe that everyone wins when women have equal access to economic opportunity,” she said.
Through MMF, Ethel has managed to live her dream as a ‘Financial Inclusion Evangelist’ having financially included a number of women as well as the informal sector.
Mupambwa realised that for Zimbabwe to see economic growth, there is a need to introduce financing vehicles that can help realize these entrepreneurs grow as they contribute a significant percentage to the GDP and promote decent work.
“MMF has innovatively made sure that micro-entrepreneurs are being financially included by disbursing over US$5 million to over 6,000 clients, 70% being women,” she said.
In the business fraternity Mupambwa has proved to be a real ‘African Business Hero’ when MMF ventured into the renewable energy space with a primary objective to distribute quality Solar-Home-Systems on credit to people living off the power grid.
“MMF plans to distribute over 10,000 units to households and businesses in rural areas and peri-urban areas which are off the power grid and have so far distributed over 1,300,” Mupambwa said.
Ethel and the MMF team recently won a third prize of the Business Heroes Award and she describes this achievement as the change that is going to happen to MMF clients.
“Our clients are going to receive an excellent service without delays like they would experience in the past due to constrained cash shortages. MoneyMart is going to be a digital MFI, and the prize money will assist in the development of an AI digital lending software,” she said.
In the male dominated Zimbabwean finance industry, Mupambwa has defied the myth that men are better leaders than women by producing results and delivering in a manner where no one can doubt that great work is being done.
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