Vodacom strengthened its programme dubbed Women Empowerment Initiative (MWEI) at the weekend when the mobile phone network provider dished out loans to over 260 rural small-scale businesswomen of Ruvu Darajani in Coast Region.
Speaking during the disbursement ceremony, the Vodacom Foundation Head of Social Welfare, Mwamvua Mlangwa, said the loans are being extended to capital restrained women to aid expansion and/or recapitalisation.
“…we are giving them to small-scale businesswomen in various regions to enable them start new businesses or boost existing ones…” explained Mwamvua, and went on to pledge support to all parties that proved dexterous and make good use of the funds a fit tested during debt collection.
Established in 2012, MWEI was implemented through the company’s money service firm, M-PESA. Under the programme, loans are issued and repaid through the electronic financial service, receivable from and payable to the numerous agents cross the country.
Some 90bn/- has been awarded in loans to well over 4,500 women entrepreneurs in the country. All interested parties can rest assured that they still have a chance to secure the much needed financial capital boost, the initiative aims at reaching upto10,000 women countrywide.
The interest-free loans range from 60,000 to 100,000/- for first-timers and 150,000/- or more for the time tested clients. Those who have benefited before; and saw a total of 20m/- being issued and a total of 12 women groups at Ruvu region in Kibaha District receive the interest-free loans.
Vodacom, owned by the South African Telkom and British Vodafone telecommunication companies, received overwhelming gratitude from the grateful business women who vowed to ‘make good use’ of the funds.
The Mwei project has over 6,000 women entrepreneurs in a total of 18 districts in the country some 150m/- and plans to set aside another 450m/- for the same purpose.
Vodacom, in an effort to support struggling communities in the country, created the Vodacom Foundation in July of ’06 and according to an official post on the company’s site, the foundation has so far, spent some 3bn/- in support of various development projects, implementing over 120 projects and directly reaching out to thousands of individuals in all regions.