Mpamba is a community that lies between the lake shore district of Nkhata-bay and the City of Mzuzu in the northern region of Malawi. The main trading centre for the area, Mpamba Trading Centre sits along the main road connecting Nkhata-bay and Mzuzu. It is a growing economic hub and the main business centre for the vast area covering Mpamba and Chikwina- about 8 km radius. Empower Malawi supported the establishment of community savings and credit cooperative based on the findings of a community vision workshop that took place in 2014. The Timbiri community SACCO opened its door to customers on 1st November 2015. As of May 2017, this financial cooperative has over 350 members and a banking license from the Reserve Bank of Malawi.
- Limited availability of financial institutions and services i.e. savings and loan facilities
- Lack of cooperatives resulting in people working in isolation i.e. rice farmers
- Lack of community voice to address community challenges.
- Improve financial access by introducing a savings and credit scheme that is wholly owned by the community for the community
- Formation of cooperatives
- Support already existing groups like Mpamba- Chikwina Juice Making Cooperative and other groups like Dairy Cow farmers group at Mpamba
- Empower conducted an assessment in the area to see the potential of running a micro finance and financial inclusion project
- Empower Malawi proposed the project to Nkhatabay District Council and the Executive Committee at the council accepted the project
- Empower Malawi trained 42 Community Mobilisers to facilitate mobilisation of the wider for the project
- A Vision Workshop took place in February 2015.
- Registration of the Timbiri Community SACCO as a cooperative with the Government of Malawi- already done.
- Ongoing training and development to build both board and member capacity to manage and make the most of the SACCO.
- Empower is supporting all operations of the SACCO for 24 months including salaries for staff and office operations up to December 2017, and implementing an exit strategy in the process.
- About 5000 people to access financial services like savings and credit.
- Increased savings culture leading to investment in individual and household development
- General increase in financial literacy
- Eradication of the unhealthy kerosene lamps replaced by more environmentally friendly solar electricity for lighting.
- Training costs – ongoing
- Loan facility to the SACCO- already accessed