Young entrepreneur champions financial inclusion

David Mantiziba

Staff Writer

Wildfin Financial Services founder and executive director David Mantiziba (24) is planning to expend more loans to sole traders and women-led small to medium enterprises this year.

In an interview this week, Mantiziba said his firm has established a niche market by serving previously marginalised groups.

“Apart from heeding the government’s call for financial inclusion, we have gotten a lot of business from SMEs, tuckshop owners, and other small businesses that most microfinance institutions avoid.

“When dealing with SMEs and sole traders we are aware of the risk exposure. As such, we meticulously screen every application we receive.”

Mantiziba said he was looking forward to the speedy implementation of the collateral registry system by the central bank to ensure that the new initiative can be put to use in the immediate term.

The collateral registry system, which allows the securitisation of movable property, was launched in December last year. The system has been in the making since 2017 and is part of the central bank’s financial inclusion agenda.

The collateral registry system is expected to centralise the database of movable assets accepted by banks and microfinance institutions (MFIs) as collateral for secured loans.

Mantiziba recently hogged the limelight after being listed in the Institute of Corporate Directors of Zimbabwe (ICDZ) 40 Most Influential Young Leaders in the country.

ICDZ honoured the 40 under 40 most prominent young leaders excelling in their respective areas of trade. The event ran under the theme ‘Rewarding Valiant Leadership in Volatile Times’ and was held in Harare recently.

Mantiziba is an excelling young entrepreneur, who has steered the microfinance institution from its humble beginning into the institution it is today. Wildfin Microfinance now has branches across Zimbabwe and expanding its footprint into the region.

The microfinance institution is already establishing offices in Zambia. Wildfin has made a name for itself by providing business and salary-based loans mainly to civil servants across Zimbabwe.

Apart from Wildfin, Mantiziba is also one of the owners of Eazi Apps company which is in partnership with a UK-based firm. Eazi Apps is a tech company that develops mobile apps and software.

With Eazi Apps, Mantiziba and other partners have expanded their operations to countries like South Africa.

In an interview after the ICDZ event, Mantiziba shared the secrets to his success at such an early age.

“All you need is to be a trustworthy person especially when dealing with investor’s funds. This calls for discipline and character.

“Mentorship made me achieve most of the things l have done. Mistakes that my mentors made are my greatest advantage as l am not falling into the same trap. I am privileged to have Nigel Chanakira, Rinos Mautsa, Shacky Timburwa, and Adelaide Chikunguru as my mentors.”

Mantiziba also said he has a great team at work which has helped to successfully run the organisation.
“l am lucky to have the best team which works 24/7, highly committed to lifting our brand name. One of the key issues is to know your numbers and be able to interpret them. Figures are always commutating with us and we don’t listen.

“We thank ICDZ for the nomination. We will not end here as a company. Our goal is to expand our service offering and serve the African region. We are in the process of building a billion-dollar group of companies in Africa.
According to the latest Zimbabwe Association of Microfinance Institutions (Zamfi) report, credit-only microfinance institutions served 135 620 active clients as of December 31, 2022, a decrease compared to 161 375 in the prior comparative year, a new report has shown.
Zamfi said the decrease in outreach was an indication of low and marginal efforts being done with respect to financial inclusion as far as credit is concerned.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has for the past decade pushed for the country’s unbanked population to participate in the formal economy by encouraging innovation in the financial technology sector.

Financial inclusion helps formalise the informal sector and reduces the extent of shadow banking. It thus provides an improved framework for monitoring and supervision of financial transactions and, in turn, shields the customer from malpractice and the financial system from unwarranted shocks.

The uptake of formal banking products has increased to 46 percent in 2022, from 30 percent in 2014, with mobile money playing a pivotal role in the increased uptake and usage of financial services and products in Zimbabwe and in making the financial sector more inclusive.

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