By Nyasha Mutena
The Empower Bank of Zimbabwe has inked a ZWL$2.5 million loan facility with the Zimbabwe Intergrated Traders Association (ZITA) this afternoon. This will be used to support Small businesses and informal traders affiliated to the association.
Addressing journalists during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), ZANU PF Secretary for Youth Affairs, Cde Tendai Chirau emphasised that the youth must utilise this facility citing that it was formulated for them regardless of religious or political affiliations.
“Empower Bank is meant for the youth, it is not only for youth of a certain political party, it is meant for the youth who are determined to get into business. So whatever your religious aspect, no matter your political affiliations, no matter your tribe or wherever you are coming from, Empower Bank is here for you. As long as you are a youth and you have a bankable project, you are free to come and apply.
“We want to build a generation of entrepreneurs that understand that for you to do business, you must do it properly and you must plan. Bring your proposals to the bank and they will assist you,” said Cde Chirau.
Empower Bank Head of Treasury, Mr Shadreck Mhembere challenged the youth to organise themselves into groups and to come up with business proposals so that they can secure loans.
He said the bank was flexible on collateral.
“The topical issue has been collateral. We require some form of comfort. Our requirements for security are not rigid, we don’t look for traditional forms of security. We accept any assets that you have as security,” he said.
“If you have a car you can make a pledge. You sign what we call a pledge document. You give us the registration book, but you remain with your car. If you fail to pay the loan we will take the car to recover the money.
For one to access a loan, Mr Mhembere said applicants should come up with a business proposal and a projected cashflow.
“To get a loan, we basically want your business proposal, which details what you want to do, and how much you want in terms of the funding and your projected cashflows,” he said.
ZITA president, Mr Robert Bhamu had this to say;
“We have vision 2030 to accomplish and NDS1 is providing the roadmap. It is such partnerships that are critical in making this possible. Most businesses fail because they lack financial capital and loans provide the best support to grow a business.
The Empower Bank was launched by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in 2018 as part of the government’s thrust to empower young people through a financial institution sensitive to their needs. It is the only Youth Bank in the region.