The country’s only youth-focused bank, Empower Bank is begging youths to come and apply for loans. You’d understand the bank considering that it only disbursed 600 loans instead of disbursing 40 000 they had targeted. Dr. Benson Dube who is the Principal Director in the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation said:
In 2018, the Government established a youth-focused financial institution Empower Bank in order to enable lending and financial support to youth businesses and projects. To-date, Empower Bank has distributed more than 600 loans for youth businesses and projects across the country and the money is still in abundance for more youths to apply such loans. The money is for you our youths, come and get it. Don’t shy away it is your money
There you have it, youths you are letting your own bank down by not taking loans (I’m being sarcastic). Do you think youths are “shying away” from taking loans at Empower Bank? Or its a case where youths are being turned away by failing to satisfy the loan requirements of Empower Bank? I would dare do think that it may be the case because generally, the loan requirements in Zimbabwe are quite stringent.
Youths who have businesses they need to inject fresh money to keep them going end up not being able to access these loans. If you are an upcoming business (in the form of a start-up, SME etc.) and you don’t yet have a steady stream of cashflow yet, then count yourself out- it’s hard to get a loan. Youths will then be dissuaded to even attempt to take out loans. At the end of the day, youths get a measly proportion of loans and the economy misses out on business that would have been resuscitated by loans.
It may not be the case though- Poor marketing
However, it may not be the case of stringent requirements that’s making Empower bank disburse fewer-than-intended loans, but it could be the case that it’s not promoting their product(s). I confess I haven’t yet bumped into any kind of marketing campaign by Empower bank in the last 3 months. The bank’s performance should be something of concern though because at one time it had double more employees than its customers.