Kiva conducts regular, ongoing monitoring of all Field Partners, but only posts status updates here in response to relevant, major changes at the partner.

The name “Untu” comes from a Bantu word meaning “people.” With the desire to support a community of empowered entrepreneurs, Untu offers individual and group loans to economically active, low-income earners in Zimbabwe.  In addition, Untu provides basic business planning and financial management training to support the development of its borrowers.  Access to Untu credit allows borrowers to secure finance and improve the well-being of their community.

Due to the hyperinflation crisis of 2009, it is difficult for anyone to access a loan in Zimbabwe, and even more difficult for borrowers looking for microfinance loans.

A unique lending approach:

Untu offers SME, micro-enterprise, micro-housing, micro-leasing, and payroll loans along with trainings and group meetings. Untu is focused on incorporating technology into their operations in order to reach more clients and make the process of microfinance banking easier.

A Note on Untu’s APR:

We care deeply about the cost that Kiva borrowers pay for their loans, which is why fair pricing is a core part of our initial due diligence process for Field Partners. With Kiva's 0% capital, many of our Field Partners are also able to add additional value to their loans by reducing interest rates, offering non-financial services or creating new loan products.

For partners with reported portfolio yields or average APRs higher than 50%, Kiva takes steps to check that the high rates are justified by the impact of the loans. Kiva also verifies that the partner is not generating unreasonable profits or paying inflated salaries, and that the partner’s elevated operating costs are justified by its operating environment and/or the design of its loan products.

We seek to support loans that don’t impose an unjustifiable cost burden on hard-working borrowers. We nevertheless recognize that in order to reach vulnerable and excluded people with high-impact products and services, some of our partners incur high costs that necessitate charging higher-than-average costs to borrowers in order to allow for sustainability and scale. With this partner, Kiva capital is supporting a loan product that costs less than the partner's typical products.

Factors that drive up the costs that this partner organization charges its borrowers include:

  • They operate in Zimbabwe, which is classified as a fragile situation by the U.N. This can greatly increase the cost of safely delivering financial services to borrowers. 
  • They provide very short term loans, which leads to higher operating costs, since each short-term loan generates a smaller amount of revenue than a longer-term loan.
  • They’re based in an area with a high cost of living and doing business. This is often due to the high demand and low supply of adequate housing and goods.
  • This partner is working in a country where doing business is difficult and costly due to regulatory, procedural and governance issues.
  • They work extensively in rural areas, which requires their employees to engage in costly travel to find and serve their clients.
  • They operate in an area with a limited or poorly functioning banking system. This makes it difficult to access funding locally, and makes it more challenging to send and receive payments on loans from outside the country.

Repayment Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Start Date On Kiva Apr 5, 2016 Oct 12, 2005
Total Loans $99,200 $948,590,975
Amount of raised Inactive loans $0 $375,825
Number of raised Inactive loans 0 261
Amount of Paying Back Loans $55,400 $141,979,900
Number of Paying Back Loans 64 175,166
Amount of Ended Loans $43,800 $806,235,250
Number of Ended Loans 66 1,011,122
Delinquency Rate 1.64% 8.10%
Amount in Arrears $667 $7,468,353
Outstanding Portfolio $40,535 $92,214,717
Number of Loans Delinquent 1 18,720
Default Rate 0.00% 1.40%
Amount of Ended Loans Defaulted $0 $11,312,347
Number of Ended Loans Defaulted 0 32,567
Currency Exchange Loss Rate 0.00% 0.46%
Amount of Currency Exchange Loss $0 $4,326,176
Refund Rate 0.50% 0.62%
Amount of Refunded Loans $500 $5,911,700
Number of Refunded Loans 1 5,950

Loan Characteristics On Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Loans to Women Borrowers 59.86% 75.25%
Average Loan Size $712 $400
Average Individual Loan Size $751 $632
Average Group Loan Size $1,200 $1,765
Average number of borrowers per group 4 7.7
Average GDP per capita (PPP) in local country $2,000 $5,889
Average Loan Size / GDP per capita (PPP) 35.61% 6.79%
Average Time to Fund a Loan 3.96 days 6.92 days
Average Dollars Raised Per Day Per Loan $179.97 $57.76
  Average Loan Term 7.15 months 11.11 months

Journaling Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Total Journals 9 494,507
  Journaling Rate 11.69% 41.49%
  Average Number of Comments Per Journal 0.00 0.05
  Average Number of Recommendations Per Journal 0.00 1.18

Borrowing Cost Comparison (based on 2015 data)

    This Field Partner Median for MFI's in Country All Kiva Partners
  Average Cost to Borrower 74% APR 59.00% PY 26.05% PY
  Profitability (return on assets) 5.6% N/A -0.82%
  Average Loan Size (% of per capita income) N/A 138.00% 17.16%

Country Fast Facts

Field Partner Staff

Simbarashe Bare
Amon Basutu
Dempsey Chimwara
Pamela Chuma
Witness Kusemwa
Francisca Mbiru
Misheck Mhangarai
Trust Mhembere
Remember Mhlanga
Clive Msipha
Thandiwe Ndhlala
Henry Nkata
Alistar Razau