Summary

VisionFund Uganda (VFU) is a microfinance company that provides credit services in Uganda. VFU has a wide range of products which include personal loans, business loans, agricultural loans, and asset finance, and have tailored products for refugees. The organization currently serves over 20,000 clients in both refugee settlements and host communities through lending to savings groups as well as MSMEs across various sectors. VFU lends to VSLAs at an average rate of 3% per month, and the VSLAs then on-lend to members at an average rate of 7% per month, with group lending as a model that has proven to be successful and sustainable.

VFU started operations in Uganda in 1996 as World Vision Uganda’s Micro-Enterprise Development Network (MED-NET). It was later incorporated as a company limited by shares in 2012.

Investment Thesis

Despite there being few Financial Service Providers (FSPs) serving refugees, demand for such services continues to grow with the increase in refugee populations in northern Uganda. This increase is coupled with a shift in development aid from cash-based aid to vouchers and digital solutions, placing VisionFund Uganda’s provisions at the intersection of necessity and growth.

Refugee Impact

VFU expands its channels by partnering with other World Vision Field Offices and external partners which enables them to empower more vulnerable individuals and their communities. Additionally, VFU has developed refugee products that have elevated the financial status of refugees and host communities. These products also provide financial literacy training using “Embedded Education” with a variety of modules that target refugee clients. Currently, the MFI has reached out to 40,930 clients with a portfolio of UGX 2.2 billion serving 45% women and impacting 134,446 children in Uganda. 

Management

At the head office-level, the CEO is supported by a 7-member Senior Management Team (SMT); COO, CFO, Company Secretary/Legal Manager, HR Manager, Risk and Compliance Manager, Internal Audit Manager, IT Manager and Business Development & Integration Manager. At the branch-level, Regional Managers and Branch Managers oversee running business activities.

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