Deloitte United Kingdom: MicroLoan Foundation
Providing professional qualifications in microlending
The MicroLoan Foundation provides small business loans and training to women in Malawi. Since 2002, MicroLoan Foundation has worked to improve the lives of more than 100,000 women and 500,000 children in the country.
Deloitte United Kingdom is working with the MicroLoan Foundation to meet its need for more staff with specialized education and qualifications as loan officers. Together they are establishing relationships with other stakeholders, including the United Nations Development Program and London School of Economics, to develop the vision and approach. In addition to plans to establish a formal qualification standard for microfinance professionals, Deloitte United Kingdom and MicroLoan have jointly developed a comprehensive training program for the loan officers. Courses include leadership, presentation skills, budgeting, pricing, and market research.
This two-pronged approach—establishing a formal qualification and a training program—will improve MicroLoan’s loan officers' quality of consultation to the women it serves. With 21 branches in operation in Malawi and more than 150 staff and 25,000 clients, the impact of this approach will have a broad, long-term effect throughout the country and it will enable MicroLoan to increase the number of clients served. In the years to come, MicroLoan plans to roll out the program in Namibia and Zambia.
Investing in the qualifications and skills of loan officers will positively affect economic development in Malawi. The women entrepreneurs will gain better training, advice, and support to start up their own businesses and repay loans more quickly. This, in turn, provides MicroLoan with more available capital to lend to greater numbers of women. Additionally, as a result of the qualification and training program, loan officers will have more opportunity to advance their own careers.
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“We are proud to be extending the boundaries of our community investment work to help some of the world’s most underserved young people through our partnership with MicroLoan Foundation in Africa. We look forward to taking the impact of this work to the next stage as we work with MicroLoan to develop a nationally recognized qualification platform for economic sustainability in Malawi.”
– John Connolly, John Connolly, Deloitte UK Chief Executive and Senior Partner (June 2007-May 2011)