By Alois Vinga
THE Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) and financial services provider, GetBucks Microfinance Bank (getbucks) Limited have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will see the two working together towards the operationalisation of the Zimbabwe Emerging Enterprise Market (ZEEM).
Speaking on the new partnership, ZSE chief executive, Justin Bgoni revealed the details on the latest agreement.
“The ZSE wishes to advise stakeholders on the signing of a MOU between the ZSE and GetBucks Microfinance Bank Limited (“GetBucks”). The partnership will entail the two parties working together towards operationalising the ZEEM,” he said.
ZEEM is a product that will be offered over the counter platform offering working capital solutions for formalised businesses, including Small to Medium Enterprises.
Said Bgoni, “Over time, the ZSE will facilitate and assist small to medium size enterprises to list on the secondary bourse through training, workshops and other initiatives to educate SMEs on benefits of listing and meeting the requirements.”
Under the arrangement, GetBucks will play a critical role in terms of support.
The ZSE and GetBucks are also working together in establishing a receivables exchange, a precursor to the ZEEM project.
Bgoni said the collaboration reinforces ZSE’s drive to foster the growth of the capital markets in Zimbabwe and resonates with the vision of facilitating Economic Development in Zimbabwe and Africa.
He added that the ZSE is looking forward to a fruitful partnership with GetBucks in ensuring the growth of SMEs under ZEEM.
The development comes at a time when the International Monetary Fund has shown that Zimbabwe has the second largest informal sector in the world surging over 90 % but most of the players in the informal sector often struggle to get the best business solutions and adequate capital to compete with their formalised counterparts.
However, GetBucks has been offering a number of products aimed towards improving the performance of the SMEs.
Since establishing the microfinance bank’s establishment, GetBucks customer base has more than doubled and is currently servicing 50 000 customers.
The institution’s loan book as at December 2018 stood at RTGS$40 million, up from a paltry RTGS$10 million which bank had when they started the microfinance bank.
GetBucks shareholders recently approved resolutions that would allow the bank to raise up to RTGS$47 million in additional capital.