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Tujijenge Tanzania is a micro-finance company limited by shares based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It started its operations in July 2006. Tujijenge Tanzania aims at providing micro-financial services including credit, savings, life and medical insurance. In the first three years of operation Tujijenge Tanzania will concentrate in Dar-es-Salaam area, however, the organization intends to expand its operations to other parts of the country as well as in the rural areas.
Tujijenge Tanzania customers are both men and women who are actively engaged in small businesses such as cooked food, second-hand clothing, cereals, charcoal and other petty trade activities. Other businesses include shops, stationery, kiosks, trans-border businesses and hair salons. These micro entrepreneurs operate in the markets, at business centres and some of them conduct the businesses at home. Tujijenge Tanzania Loan Officers, who are currently thirteen (13) in number, would normally go out to the community and talk about Tujijenge Tanzania’s methodology and the intention of giving out loans. Interested business people will form groups of 15-35 members and thereafter they will receive training from the Loan Officer for a period of four (4) weeks. During the training period the potential members will be exposed to the company’s lending methodology, basic topics on loan use and business plan. Furthermore the groups will choose a name for the group, elect leaders, formulate group by-laws, and open a bank account with a commercial bank.
Another requirement before a group can receive loans from Tujijenge is the ability to save; members are required to save 20% of the expected amount of loan during the training sessions. The rationale behind this is to build a discipline of making weekly repayments including saving right from the beginning. Furthermore, if a member can save before receiving a loan this depicts that a person is engaged in a serious business which can generate some amount of money to put aside as savings. In addition, after receiving a loan, members continue to save at least 1000 shillings every week they meet for repayment.
After four weeks of training, the group is ready to receive a loan from Tujijenge. The Loan Officer will forward application forms to the office which includes signatures of all members in the group as a request for a loan. The group will meet every week to make repayments at a designated venue in the communities. During these meetings members are encouraged to exchange ideas on business issues and life in general.
Tujijenge Tanzania desires to reach out to micro entrepreneurs and provide them with financial and social intermediation services since capital is one of the major barriers to development and success for micro-enterprises initiatives in Tanzania. Due to the small sizes of the businesses, and the lack of resources available to micro enterprises, micro entrepreneurs need micro-financial services in order to survive and grow their businesses. However, due to insufficient mechanisms and inadequate information in Tanzania on credit markets, commercial banks are discouraged from and are unwilling to lend to micro-enterprises.A Note on Tujijienge’s Portfolio Yield:
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.
Factors that drive up the costs that this partner organization charges its borrowers include:
- 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 work in areas with very poor infrastructure, such as limited roads. This increases the costs of finding clients and maintaining branch offices.
- They pay high interest rates on the loans they take from banks and other funders, given the market in which they operate. This means they need more support from innovative sources like Kiva to reduce costs and pass savings on to borrowers.