In our series of blog posts promoting the successes of the many fantastic organizations using the Musoni System, our focus this week is on Virl Microfinance, a microfinance institution built on the entrepreneurial spirit of two ladies with the strong belief that access to finance is a human right.
VIRL was founded in 2010, with the mission to provide innovative, tailor-made and sector specific financial services to marginalized communities. Through its six outlets in Harare, Bikita, Chitungwiza, Gwanda and Manicaland, Virl has increased its footprint in rural communities by offering sector specific loan products (including agricultural input loans and asset finance loans), training and advisory services mostly to female entrepreneurs who constitute 85 percent of their client base.
Aside from the pure microfinance activities, through its social impact trust (in partnership with Nduna Zimbabwe), Virl also supports low income girls in Zimbabwe, covering their school fees and uniforms, and also providing mentorship and career guidance. As a result of their innovative and socially driven model, Virl has been reconsiged by and partnered with organisations including Care Zimbabwe, Hivos, SIDA, and ZMF.
Our data quality has improved significantly, and the detailed portfolio reports have made it easier to make long-term lending decisions. The advanced features of the Musoni System will enable Virl to expand into rural areas far faster, and at lower cost, than previously possible.Virginia Sibanda, CEO Virl Microfinance
To manage their microfinance operations, in March 2015 Virl started using the Musoni System. Having faced challenges on their previous system, Virl recognized that switching to Musoni would improve the efficiency of their operations and lay the foundations for their future expansion plans in Zimbabwe. Since then, the organization has expanded by more than 100% and now serves more than 3,800 clients. Aside from the core system functionality, Virl also use the Musoni SMS module to send payment reminders to clients, reducing the workload of their field officers and greatly improving portfolio quality.
In terms of next steps, in January Virl Microfinance will start using the Musoni Tablet App, enabling loan officers to travel into rural areas (with limited or no connectivity) to easily carry out key tasks while in the field, reducing the amount of paper work, and increasing the speed of processing loan applications. Before then, Virl also plan to take advantage of Musoni’s integration with Ecocash in Zimbawe, enabling their customers to make their loan repayments via mobile money transfer.
Evans Mpufo Virl’s Finance Officer said, “the Musoni system has an array of advantages but the best of them all is the system’s ability to accommodate an unlimited number of users coupled with the fact that transactions are done in real time. This has enabled us to eliminate lead time and improve our efficiency. Overall we can say we have a great experience working with Musoni.”
Cameron Goldie-Scot, the CEO of Musoni added “Both Virl and Musoni share a common goal of using innovative technology to promote financial access in rural communities. Musoni will continue to support Virl by offering a robust platform which improves their efficiency and guarantees the quality of their data. We look forward to working with them for many years to come.”