FINCA Tanzania has become the first microfinance institution in the country to transform from a non-regulated organization to an entity regulated by the Bank of Tanzania. This change in status will make it possible for even more Tanzanians living in rural areas access to formalized banking services. According to Chief Executive Officer Tom Kocsis, 77,000 very low-income clients already have access to FINCA’s credit products. This new designation will allow the Subsidiary to branch out to new and under-served areas with additional banking services. “With our new status as a formal financial institution, we’ll be able to reach even more people in rural areas who don’t traditionally have access to banking services,” said Tom. “And what’s most exciting is that we’ll be able to offer savings products, which is an effective way for low-income people to create their own safety nets. In this way, they can guard against emergencies and invest in their futures.” FINCA Tanzania currently operates 25 branches country wide, and is looking to further expand financial inclusion services to more Tanzanians by integrating mobile technology into the company’s operations, which will improve access to services and improve efficiency. “We already execute more than 30,000 repayment transactions each month using mobile money technology, and are excited to further develop alternative delivery channels to extend services to other areas, and make banking more accessible and affordable,” he added.
To support FINCA Canada’s Make A Stand Against Poverty campaign, several Canadian artists have lent their talents to raise funds for FINCA microfinance clients.In response to appeals they’d received in their mailboxes, Prince George, British Columbia, artist Maureen Faulkner joined artists and craftspeople from across Canada celebrating Canada’s Cultural Days. Maureen asked everyone who visited her studio for a cash donation with the intent that she and her husband would match it. They raised enough money to fund four, $50 loans. She thanked contributors by sending them a set of FINCA’s photo notecards.Ottawa sculptors and painters Mitchell Webster and Janet McKay decided they’d host a fine art show, and contribute a portion of proceeds from the sales of their Bronze and stone sculptures and oil paintings to FINCA.And earlier in the year, FINCA Canada Board Member Jacquie Green helped raise funds for the Make A Stand campaign by hosting a market stall at FINCA Canada’s annual fundraising event, during which she sold her amazing miniature paintings.