Morris Mpala, Mob Capital Ltd
I AM convinced that funding is not the challenge in Zimbabwe. I am honestly convinced that money isn’t the issue and I am putting my simple, humble Hwange heritage on the block.
Captains of industry complain about obsolete machinery day in day out. My question is where were they to let these machinery go to waste. Wasn’t it under their watch that we lost competitiveness of our machinery? To what extent were the strategic meetings achieving their objectives? Now captains of industry are talking about retooling as if they were not in charge of the operations while cutting edge technology turned into dinosaurs. Is that a funding problem?
Women in Business
There have been funds availed to the marginalised women in marginalised areas for a while. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), government and banks have poured money into these demographic groups but to what extent have these schemes achieved the desired impact? Do we have any statistically significant success stories to talk about?
These have been there dolling out funds, services to the marginalised but have the marginalised been elevated? Any evidence of impact on the ground despite these free advisory and financial services? Therefore, it’s no longer about money. It’s something else.
Youth in Business
The number of deliberate strategies employed here one can be excused in thinking we are supporting people not yet ready to receive help at all. Look at the default rates across. You don’t have to search for any good story (needle) in this haystack. Bad stories have overshadowed the isolated great stories. Give me a good youth story and I will bring two devils for dinner. It’s not about money. To think these have been revolving funds that could have benefitted all the youth and the next generation of youth but the pioneers messed it up for all. Thus, money is no longer interested in youth projects. Once beaten twice shy.
Artisanal mining has been legalised and funds or machinery are available. But we still have degradation and toxic environment they operate in. It exposes the land and their health to unacceptable levels of occupational hazards. So many initiatives have been channelled towards numerous areas but still we see less or nil success stories. We see a situation where people have instant success that evaporates tomorrow. It’s never sustainable despite funds being availed. Not everyone will receive the required funds. It doesn’t work like that in life. Many are called but few are chosen.
What has happened to pension funds when asset managers were supposed to preserve value during hyper-inflation environment? For those that preserved value then what happened to clients receiving value in return?
Cross Border facilities
We have these funds now and before through RBZ initiatives (very cheap funding) and even before this we had a number but show me one or two role model cases of growth that I can use as peer educators.
Agribank and developmental partners are awash with all sorts of funds at lower rates (relative to other funds). Rates resemble the market and it is the market so we can’t say the funds are still very high.
It is what it is. Agriculture has scored some success stories we need to encourage sustainability and consistence plus the increased numbers. Farming normally takes dedication and it’s a long term perfection art that is science based but it’s no excuse.
Distressed companies fund
We had funds but we have nothing to show for it. Let’s ask the recipients what transpired and what challenges they faced because lack of funds wasn’t one of them. At times it’s not the funds but perhaps the model used has passed the sale by date.
These have been utilised to satisfactory levels. A lot of people acquired skills and competencies that aid development for the betterment of their communities. Student loans were not paid back and affected the others that came later. I do appreciate those that lack funding and genuinely deserve. Are we not giving the rightful deserving subjects?? This segment should be statistically low all things being equal.
The numbers are just insignificant to write home about. Frankly, I don’t know what it is. In your sector please advise what the problem is because definitely this has nothing to do with funding if at all the truth be told.
In any case whose responsibility is it to source funds on behalf of the above? Sole responsibility remains with those in need and those that have funds normally had their terms and conditions and when you satisfy them it’s happy days.
If these are not favourable the need to engage and strike a balance is encouraged. Probably you are not their target market for funds just like you producing goods and services for a particular market. If still in need and are passionate about your craft/art, I say continue to knock, knock, knock and one day the door of funding will be opened for you but before that happens, always be ready to be fertile ground for such elusive capital.
As for me do not tell me something about success stories but show me success stories and I will collate the data against the population statistics. Figures never lie. It’s the culture, stupid!!!
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Morris Mpala is the managing director of Mob Capital, a Bulawayo headquartered micro-finance institution with footprint across the country.