Umino continues to offer unparalleled support to our Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) despite the risks and drawbacks that have been triggered by the pandemic.

I am happy working with UMINO because I have done a number of things I could not have done before. I now own a Toyota Hilux, I am currently building a mansion for myself and bought 13 cows. Umino has taken me to a level I never imagined I could reach. I am grateful for all the help they are giving me; I now have a Bakery shop with 2 baking machines I wished to have. My family and I have benefited greatly from this company and all my children are now done with their studies."

Cecilia started her bakery business in 2013 in Lusaka with only a ZMW 50 as capital, which she used to buy a bucket of flour and would make fritters.

She continued with her business for almost a year and managed to save up to about ZMW 3,600.  As a resourceful businesswoman, she decided to relocate from Lusaka to Luangwa and engage in the fish business while her baking business continued. To expand her fish business, she decided to get a loan from the bank, but her application was rejected.

Her baking business continued to grow, and by then, she had a 4-plate cooker oven which she used to bake (although she could hardly meet her demand). As fate would have it, a friend of hers introduced her to Umino in 2019. She didn't want to get another loan because of her previous experience with the bank, but her friend insisted that she tries.

She applied for a ZMW 20, 000 which she used to buy an oven, a mixer, and a double-deck machine. Upon completion of the first loan payment, she applied for another loan worth ZMW 50, 000, and invested it in her business by buying a 3-deck baking machine and a light truck to be used in the distribution of her bakery products.

Cecilia now has more than 10 workers and her ability to accommodate all of them as she is renting a flat for them. She is very grateful to UMINO, and her wish is for the company to keep growing so that others can also benefit, in her last words she said,

"if you want to drive, work with Umino."

Umino Financial services enabled me to cover 90% of the works from foundation level to roofing materials. Although this period has been very uncertain, my business has thrived with profits maximized. I am grateful to Umino for the support that they continue to offer to the community.  ”

Rufunsa District is located 160 Kilometers east of Lusaka along the Great east road. Umino Community Loan Services has been in operation since August 2017, covering the area from Sinjela to Lukwipa in Rufunsa. The microfinance institution empowers the local community with business and farm loans to help improve their livelihood.

Matildah Tembo has been living in  Rufunsa district for over 20 years and shares her experience on how the services from Umino have helped to grow her business despite the raging pandemic. She is one of the clients that attended the first financial literacy seminar and has continued to record milestones in her business. She narrates her story below:

“I am currently paying back a loan of K3, 750 ($ 204.99) from Umino, the loan was used to order kapenta (dried sardines), beans, sugar, salt, rice and other foodstuffs in bulk for re-packaging. Since the outbreak of the virus, there has been a sharp increase in profits because people are not travelling out of the town as frequent as they usually do to buy household groceries. I have taken advantage of the situation by making frequent orders from my suppliers.

After noticing an increase in the business profits, I decided to buy a small portion of land and construct a shop so that I can relocate my business from the open market.

“I was able to buy another electric sewing machine, from the profits I generated currently I have three electric sewing machines and have managed to create jobs for others through this business. I am looking forward to working with UMINO to further grow my businesses and additional employment opportunities for others".

Francisca Mambwe Mutupa is the proprietor of the Nachi clothing hub in Nyimba town Eastern Zambia. She is renowned for her unique fabric designs and warm personality. She shares her inspirational business journey.

"I started designing and sewing at home on a small tailoring machine in 2017. In 2019 the demand for my services grew and I decided to rent a small shop in town. When UMINO started its operations in Nyimba, one of my friends told me about the financial services they were offering. At that time, the demand for my services had increased and I needed to buy an electric sewing machine. I applied for a loan to buy the machine to help boost the production of school uniforms, wedding dresses and events attires.

 As UMINO our sole responsibility is to empower our clients to actualize their business aspirations and contribute to the socio-economic wellbeing of the communities in our areas of operation.

In August 2020, UMINO opened a new Branch in Nyimba District. Today the Branch boasts of over 400 clients and has continued to empower the community. In the past two years, COVID-19 has had a negative effect on the economy however, Umino continues taking positive strides in the right direction. Our clients share their experiences and future prospects.

 

Judith Mumba has been a Nyimba Resident for more than 20 years. She runs a clothing business at Nyimba market. Her clothes are ordered from Kamwala Market in Lusaka on a monthly basis. Judith said that before UMINO started operations in Nyimba she would access financial services from other lending institutions in the area that have since left. She has supported her family over the years from her clothing business and continues to inspire other marketers.

 

By working smart Judith has been consistent with paying her loan instalments on time and in full. She encourages fellow marketers not to shy away from getting financial assistance so as to boost their businesses and order more stock.

Mr Martin Chimusanya has lived in  Rufunsa district for more than 10 years. He is renowned for his commitment and hard work as a Driver. For over 5 years he has been working as a hired driver in the district. Earlier this year, he was awarded a contract to supply building materials to a firm that is constructing a Vocational Trades School in the area. However, in order to actualize this business opportunity, he needed a Canter. He visited Umino Community Loan Services Limited and applied for a loan to finance his business and meet the contractor’s needs.

By funding Mr Chimusanya’s business idea, a local marketer now has readily available transport to and from Lusaka at an affordable cost, at their convenience when ordering goods for resale. Umino continues to provide the local business community with life-changing financial support. Umino continues delivering as per the motto - MICROFINANCE FOR A BETTER LIFE

Alison Banda is an UMINO client based in Rufunsa who runs a small carpentry shop. He has been getting loans from UMINO since 2019 to grow his business.

Alison says “most of the equipment, like the new chain-saw, you see at this shop was financed by UMINO. Recently, I noticed that I had a challenge with transporting my raw materials (planks) from the forest to my workshop and making some small furniture deliveries. I applied for a loan to buy a motorbike which was granted and helped solved my transport problem. Now, I can transport my materials easily without challenges. I am hopeful that as my business grows, I will be able to buy a small truck to transport by the raw materials and finished furniture”.

The community has also benefited greatly as residents no longer have to travel to Lusaka to buy groceries and those with small shops now order their stock locally, this has been a cost-saving measure as they do not have to incur additional transportation and other costs. As earlier said, I want to grow my business (building another wholesale shop), the construction has already begun as you can see from the blocks I am making. I am hopeful that the support I am receiving from UMINO will go a long way in building my businesses”.

A resident of Chitope in the Luangwa district runs a wholesale and retail shop at the main market in Chitope. He started his mobile retail business (hawker), where he used to go round on his bicycle selling his grocery products until he had enough capital to open a shop. The retail business started growing and he later opened a wholesale store. In 2018, UMINO opened a branch in Chitope (Luangwa District), and Christopher was one of the first clients to get a loan. He is currently financing his fourth loan from UMINO.

Christopher shares his experience: “I got the first loan which I invested in my newly opened wholesale shop. My motivation to open a wholesale shop was to make it convenient for the local shop owners to buy their shop supplies locally instead of travelling about 200 KM to the capital for their supplies.

I am grateful for the help rendered to me by UMINO because I have managed to buy 2 Rosa buses that are now used for transportation to and from Lusaka. I am currently building another bigger wholesale shop, and all this is from the profits that I have made”. Christopher added that all these achievements are from the profits he made from his businesses which have always been his long-term plan and finally it is happening.