Themicroloanfoundation's Blog

Why Clients leave MLF
June 10, 2010, 12:59 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Reposted from Daniella-Mzungu in Kasungu

art of the piloting activity we’re doing is to look at why clients exit MicroLoan Foundation. The Branch Managers have been working hard, visiting clients’ homes and carrying out questionnaires looking at the client’s business and any problems she might have had, what she thinks of MicroLoan’s procedures (interest rates, repayment frequency, savings and so on), how the group functioned and what changes she would suggest making. I went out with the Central Regional Manager, Susan Kondowe, this week to do some follow-up unstructured interviews with a selection of the ladies who’ve already done the exit questionnaire. This allows us to compare the results from the questionnaires and the more informal interviews, to see if we’re really getting to the heart of the issues clients are facing. We’re pleased by the level of similarity between the two methods of data collection, which goes to show the Branch Managers are doing a great job.

The types of reasons clients are giving for exiting are varied but include personal or family illness, having to focus on farming during the rainy season and disliking the repayment frequency of 2 weeks.

To give you more of an insight into the types of issues a client might face, here is Mary Chauma’s story. Mary runs a successful small restaurant in the centre of Kasungu, and originally joined MicroLoan a few years ago right after the death of her husband because she wanted to grow her business. After 5 loan cycles she decided she didn’t need any more loans, as she’d done what she’d set out to do with the business and it was thriving. Then last year she was keen to rejoin, wanting to further strengthen the business, but sadly her younger sister was very sick and ultimately passed away, meaning she had to spend time nursing her and then paying for her funeral costs. This meant that the funds she had set aside for her deposit to access a MicroLoan loan were diverted to the funeral costs. Despite these family tragedies the restaurant continues to flourish and is assisting her with her household financial needs, and she’s hoping to rejoining MicroLoan as planned soon.

Photo: Susan Kondowe (on the right) speaks to a client about her reasons for leaving MicroLoan Foundation

Recruiting my replacement
It’s amazing how the time flies! One minute I’m wandering around Kasungu not really knowing where I’m going or what I’m doing, and now we’re immersed in piloting the social performance management activity and it’s time to recruit my replacement. We’ve had over 50 applications for the role and interviews take place this week. I’m sure we have a gem in there!


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