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With Thanks to Oliver Wyman

Supporting our work

Oliver Wyman is a leading global management consulting firm. They partnered with us to supply a strategy review to our global centre and individual microfinance organisations pro-bono. We thank the partnership and all their consultants who have supported our work by sharing some of their experiences below.

Angelina Grass-Oguma
Partner, Oliver Wyman

‘From a personal point of view, I like working with people who I feel I can click with. The staff at VisionFund are people who have a financial background that want to do more than just make money for banks. This is how I feel and so I am grateful for the balance that VisionFund helps me find.'

Why did Oliver Wyman agree to partner with VisionFund?

We saw the partnership as a win-win; it allowed us to do a strategy project for a financial services company which fits into our client portfolio and it was a good training ground for our consultants. Plus, we saw that our consultants felt good about working for Oliver Wyman because we supported the opportunity for them to travel and do something they considered worthy.

What are your impressions of the work that we do?

The microfinance model itself is very compelling. VisionFund is doing the right thing by working in local communities through World Vision’s work. There is a natural fit with the development work that World Vision is doing and the benefit from having access to microfinance. 

Victor Lee

Senior Consultant, Oliver Wyman 

'I may have gone to Africa at some point in my life, but if it weren’t for volunteering with VisionFund, I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet the people, see how they think and listen to their stories. It was a priceless experience.’

What was your involvement with VisionFund?

I was asked to consult VisionFund’s microfinance institution in Uganda on how to achieve self-sustainability. I started off by reviewing their internal reports and documents, interviewing most of the management and conducting field interviews to meet the credit officers and customers.

Based on the insights revealed during the interviews, ideas collected from the field and implications derived from peer benchmarking, I put together a long-term strategy that would enable them to reach the goal of self-sustainability and eventually fulfil VisionFund's mission of helping more children. I suggested a few dozen initiatives and recommendations, such as reducing the number of required loan documents and encouraging field staff to share their ideas on improving the institution, which I named 'idea of the month'.

What were your impressions of the work we do?

When I was in Uganda, I witnessed the value of microfinance. During my field trip, I met a farmer who used to be very poor, but is now one of the wealthiest farmers in his community. He was able to make money by taking out a loan to rent some land, grow tomatoes, sell them and generate a profit even after paying back the loan. He did this for many seasons and every time he did it, he would increase the scale and make more money. If it weren't for the very first loan he got from VisionFund when he had nothing, his success story would not have been possible.

It’s not easy to do this work with limited resources and I was impressed by the quality of people working at VisionFund, many of whom were from the banking industry. 

Thomas Stapp

Senior Consultant, Oliver Wyman 

‘During my time in Senegal, I got to lead a project myself, and develop my own project management skills. Moreover, I really felt like I was contributing something to a society, by helping someone at the grass roots level. It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.’

 Listen to Thomas talk about his experience.

What was your involvement with VisionFund?

I visited Senegal for three weeks and created a loan strategy for the microfinance institution because they didn’t have as many clients as their competitors.

I had an interview with the ministry of finance, loan officers and VisionFund clients and produced a report from my research. Another colleague spent three months in Senegal implementing the strategy I had put together, which made me feel good.

What was your impression of the work that we do?

I must admit that I was sceptical about microfinance at first because interest rates seemed high. But when I actually went out into the field, I came to realise that even though they seemed high, they are manageable, and that people can still pay them off and make a profit.

I spoke to some other microfinance organisations who were more focused on making a profit and getting their money back. What I liked about VisionFund, was that it wasn’t just working to make a profit to become sustainable; they wanted to ensure that businesses are going to survive and thrive.