Agribank is slowly changing it’s narrative and associated image from being just a bank for farmers (nothing wrong with that) to being a partner for small businesses.
Access to (lack of) adequate funding remains one of the biggest challenges that entrepreneurs face. Desperation often drives people into making deals with
the devil loan sharks. Agribank is answering this call from people who are running small enterprises and need finance. The enterprise can be within any sector from farming to perhaps publishing on the internet as Techzim does.
The interest rate is 5% per month for the microloans whose tenure is up to 12 months.
Help to succeed
The bank will not just give you money and push you out of the nest. They are interested in increasing the likelihood of your success. Of course they are, otherwise it may be difficult to get their money back. To do this, Agribank will offer training services and and consultancy services for your business. This will cover:
Financial literacy basics
These are little things that we sometimes take for granted but are important in predicting whether one succeeds or not and Agribank will train borrowers on how to do them more effectively. Budgeting, record keeping, financial planning and saving are some of the skills that borrowers are taught when they are financed by Agribank.
They will also help clients navigate basics such as the different modes of payment, insurance and bank account management which sometimes seem obvious to you and I but may be intimidating to people who simply don’t have any experience in such.
Agribank goes a step further to assist borrowers with the actual business. The most important support is in the form of market linkages. At times the biggest headache small businesses have is access to markets. Not that markets will be non existent but a number of times there is just a disconnect between supply and demand.
The best illustration of this problem is in agriculture where produce rots in one area and you actually hear farmers there complaining that there is no market for their produce whilst at the same time there is a shortage of that same specific produce in an adjacent market and buyers actually think less than enough has been produced.
Such market inefficiencies occur in several industries. Banks generally have clients on both sides of the market and hence are well placed to link the two. This is what Agribank is trying to do in their support of small businesses that they lend to.
Another important form of support is in debtors and creditors management. Credit and debt have serious implications on a businesses’ cashflows and as we all know, cashflow is the lifeblood of any businesses. A good number of small businesses tank not because they are unprofitable but because they have an unhealthy cashflow position. Agribank is supporting small business they lend to in managing their credit and debt position to help them stay afloat.
General business management support is also made available when you access loans from Agribank as a small business. That means drawing on the expertise of professionals in finance and business so you can avoid rookie mistakes. Good thing.
What are the requirements to access micro loans from Agribank?
Your business needs to have been operating for at least six months or for at least one cycle if it’s a cyclical business. You should be aged between 18 and 65 and hold a Microsave account with the bank. If you don’t have an account you can open one on application. The tricky bit is that you need to have a security pledge of at least 1.5 times the value of the amount you will be borrowing. It’s not that hefty at least.
So as to keep this article short and sweet, we will talk about the requirements for opening the Microsave account as well as other types of loans that are available from Agribank in other articles.
Get in touch with Agribank
You can call Agribank on 08677202202, WhatsApp them on 0712 837436 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively you can reach them through their social pages.