High interest rates in commercial banks and limited availability of capital have forced vendors at Rumphi Main Market to form a business group to mobilise funds and offer themselves with loans.
The group named Tiwonge Small Business Group, has been established with support from a Foundation in Holland through its member, Joop Van Delden.
At one of the group’s meetings, Van Delden said they want to improve business skills among vendors to conduct business better and be more efficient.
“The group was formed after we conducted three meetings with vendors to establish challenges they face. We established that some vendors do not have adequate knowledge on business.
“So, the foundation has established the group to help members share knowledge among themselves, but also run their own bank to address issues of capital and high interest loans,” he said.
The group’s chairperson Manase Mhango said the establishment of the group will address challenges of capital and high interest rates that vendors grapple with at the market.
“Most of our vendors fail to get loans from financial institutions due to high interest rates which go as high as 37 percent. But with the group, we are able to get loans at low interests,” he said.
So far, the group has 54 members. n