CETZAM is seeking AfDB support to grow its business and improve outreach, expand its agri-based SMEs loan book and enhance ability to extend long term loans to SMEs for business expansion. The SME pipeline shows financing needs of USD 3.2 million across various sectors, which indicate 213% of the proposed LoC.
Although CETZAM has benefited from funding from non governmental institutions (NGOs), it was modeled to operate as a profitable and self sustaining micro-finance enterprise from inception, properly licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Zambia as a microfinance institution. Initially CETZAM largely depended on the group lending model to originate business and, using this approach was able to scale up its loan book very fast such that by 2002 it had more than 20,000 clients on its books. Building on this success, DFID provided additional funding to enable CETZAM become the first sustainable and regulated microfinance institution in Zambia on a national scale. However, the growth was too rapid and was not matched by corresponding improvements in CETZAMs internal operational risk management environment, specifically its MIS systems such that by end 2002 CETZAM faced several challenges and had to scale down its operations considerably, from the over 20,000 clients it had to about 1,000 clients.