VisionFund Uganda will be providing a Savings Group Linkage Loan for refugees and host communities in West Nile, Uganda. Since it will be managed as a group loan, rather than as individual loans, it is important that the savings group members know each other and have been working with each other for at least two years. For this reason, we will work with already existing groups who have been trained by NGOs, and we are already working with the NGOs to make sure that financial literacy trainings are incorporated early on as they form groups.
Then, building on the work done by the NGOs, we will continue with financial literacy trainings and screening. Groups will be assessed against the product criteria, using for example a group recognition test which shows whether the groups have strong procedures in place, are following their own methodology and have the capacity to handle extra capital. Once the selected groups receive their loans, they will continue to follow internal lending and savings procedures while being assisted by VisionFund Uganda’s field officers who will provide Training of Trainers (ToTs) to group leaders on financial literacy education.
There will be no need for the clients to come to the branch. The loan registration will be done in the field with an application on the field officer’s phone, and sent to the branch. All loan disbursements and repayments will be made using mobile money. The group will receive their disbursement via mobile money. Then, the group will go to a close mobile money agent and cash out. The same goes for the repayment. Group members will repay at a mobile money agent and send the repayment via mobile money to the branch. At this time we have successfully tested the product with 12 savings groups, and are onboarding new ones every week.