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Experience with Microfinance

UMUTANGUHA has been engaged in microfinance from 2004 to date.  From a single

COOPEC in 2003 to six Cooperatives registered as a Union and now as a limited liability

company, UMUTANGUHA was by 2009 providing fully fledged financial services serving

58,000 clients predominantly (80% July 2013) women and Youth. 


As at August 31, 2013, 19,800 Youth clients in the age bracket of 12-24 and 29,000 24-35

years are being served.  The loan portfolio was over USD 2,000,000 (RWF 1.3 billion) and

savings deposits USD 1,091,000 (RWF 712 million).

Varied products tailored to meet the financial needs of the unbanked poor both in urban

and rural areas of the country with a focus on Youth and Women are provided.



The company provides Savings products including :


(i) Current passbook accounts

 (ii) Fixed deposit

(iii) Purpose Saving plans accounts

(iii) Youth Demand accounts; and

(iv) Purpose Saving for specific project such as building a house, buying a car, starting a business, etc.


Loan products include solidarity group loans mainly through VSLAs; different kinds of Business loans; Agriculture loan; Youth Business

Loans and Micro-Leasing.  In partnership with UNCDF under the YouthStart and UNCDF/UNDP BIFSIR Programs, focus has been on

Youth under the age of 25 as well as unbanked Youth in the age of 25-35 years largely in rural areas.  


Findings of the Market research prior to the UNCDF YouthStart Program indicates that Youth require holistic financial services but are

constrained by, among other things, the following factors:

=>FIs considers youth as highly risky

=>Financial illiteracy, lack of entrepreneurship skills

=>Tough conditions for savings (minimum deposits, monthly fees, etc)

=>Lack of collatéral

=>Sporadic initiatives to support the youth (are not holistic or integrated (Eg: TVET – After TVET situation))

=>The Youth themselves lack self esteem

=>Legal constraints (cannot open account under 16 for SACCOs and under 18 for other FI)