• Association of Microfinance
    Institutions of Zambia

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About Us

AMIZ is a network of microfinance institutions that are working hard to provide financial services to small businesses in Zambia.

Our aim is to support microfinance development in Zambia through advocating and lobbying for a conducive environment in terms of laws, policies, regulations, cost of doing business, entrepreneurial culture, access to affordable finance, cadre of trained local staff, and other factors critical to development of microfinance in Zambia.

To achieve this we work with microfinance institutions, banks, other Financial Service Providers, Development Finance Institutions, development actors, donors, business associations, government, regulators, and services providers to the microfinance sector.

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Our Objectives

Microfinance Industry

Microfinance is a type of banking service provided to unemployed or low-income individuals or groups who otherwise would have no other access to financial services. While institutions participating in the area of microfinance most often provide lending, many banks offer additional services such as checking and savings accounts and micro-insurance products, and some even provide financial and business education. The goal of microfinance is to ultimately give impoverished people an opportunity to become self-sufficient.

Without microfinance, these groups may have to resort to using loans or payday advances with extremely high interest rates or even borrow money from family and friends. Microfinance helps them invest in their businesses, and as a result, invest in themselves.

The benefits of microfinance extend beyond the direct effects of giving people a source for capital. Entrepreneurs who create successful businesses, in turn, create jobs, trade, and overall economic improvement within a community. Empowering women in particular, as many microfinance organizations do, may lead to more stability and prosperity for families.

Source: Investopia

Our Members

AMZ

AGORA Microfinance Zambia

Agora Microfinance Zambia is a microfinance institution dedicated to serving low-income, rural households in Zambia with appropriate financial products.

Our mission is to contribute to the economic well-being of the poor through effective provision of appropriate financial services. AMZ has 11 branches around Zambia. Of these branches 9 are in rural areas.

BFC

Betternow Finance Company

Our vision is to impact financial services through responsible and inclusive lending for change, create a better future for small business owners and improve people’s quality of life by enhancing their financial status.

FINCA Zambia

FINCA Zambia

The global mission is to alleviate poverty through lasting solutions that help people build assets, create jobs and raise their standard of living.

FINCA has 14 branches around Zambia. Of these branches 6 are in rural areas.

EFC

Entrepreneurs Financial Centre

Our mission is to be a preferred financial services partner for micro and small medium-sized entrepreneurs and enterprise (MSMEs).

EFC has 8 branches around Zambia. Of these branches 1 is in Chipata which is categorised as rural.

Mfinance

Madison Finance Zambia

Madison Finance Company Limited was established in 2004 and is a Deposit Taking Financial Institution that is regulated by the Bank of Zambia.

MFinance was granted a licence to operate as a deposit taking micro finance institution in August 2014 and is now taking deposits from corporates as well as individuals. MFinance also provides a wide array of loan products to micro, small and medium sized entrepreneurs as well as pay-roll backed financial products and services.

Microloan Foundation

Microloan Foundation

The MicroLoan Foundation is a UK-based microfinance charity that gives small business loans to women in Malawi and Zambia in Southern Africa. The main objectives of the organisation is poverty alleviation and gender empowerment, and consequently its main focus has been on the women living in the rural areas, who make up majority of the poor in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Microloan Foundation has 13 branches and all of them are in rural areas.

Vision Fund

Vision Fund

Vision Fund Zambia is a leading microfinance institution established as a subsidiary of Vision Fund International, a global microfinance institution operating in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East/Eastern Europe. Working together, we provide the foundations for local economies to flourish in healthy and safe communities.

We provide financial services to people who would otherwise have little or no access to credit. The well-being of children, families and communities in Zambia is our main focus. We serve the country's poorest people by helping them start or grow their own businesses through loans of just a few hundred dollars.

Rural Finance Expansion Programme

Rural Finance Expansion Programme - RUFEP

Our Sponsor

RUFEP targets to increase access and use of financial services by poor rural men, women and youth by 140,000 households. Performance indicators for this target includes; (i) the number and percentage of the adult population actually using financial services and, (ii) a decline in the cost of borrowing for productive purposes for rural clients.

Under the strategic partnership component with AMIZ, RUFEP is working towards making the Association a main provider of capacity building to its member MFIs. Furthermore, RUFEP hopes to build the capacity of Financial Service Providers (FSPs) and also fuel financial inclusion in rural areas through the partnership with AMIZ.

Our History

The establishment of AMIZ was a result of an Action Research Programme that was introduced in Zambia in June 1996. This programme was funded by the World Bank and implemented by local microfinance institutions (MFIs), which looked at microfinance capacity to help nascent institutions as there were at the time to integrate industry best practices. This group of MFIs called the "Zambia World Bank Action Research Champion Team (in short "the Champion") was composed of six MFIs who were on an alternating basis responsible for the co-ordination and implementation of various projects of the Action Research programme.

Following this project AMIZ was established in March 1998. Initially, its role was to coordinate but later the association took on lobbying and advocacy activities as the need for public awareness about microfinance grew. Sensitization of Members of Parliament on the role of microfinance was another important activity that had to be undertaken because it was important for them to have understanding of some of the policy complexities when it came to poor people and access to financial services. Before long in 2003 – 2005 there was already consultative dialogue with the Bank of Zambia as regards the formulation of microfinance regulations, which were passed in 2006. This was an important step in the formalization of microfinance.

During its formative years AMIZ worked with SIDA of Sweden, and Hivos of the Netherlands; both of whom supported the young institutions to establish itself. During the time AMIZ rolled out a programme to support capacity building in MFIs particularly focusing on staff training as some of the MFIs were transforming from NGO-MFIs into financial institutions with a vision of attaining long term sustainability.

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