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Gladys Shumbambiri

About Me: 

I am an Economist with 7 years experience working in the Central Bank of Zimbabwe and two years experience in microfinance. I was in the Economic Research Division of the Bank for 3years and then moved to the Advisor to the Governor’s Office for 4 years. During that time, I demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that I am a hardworking and capable woman with great potential and a bright future. I have an excellent teachable spirit coupled with strong research and analytical skills. As a researcher, I actively participated, both individually and as a member of numerous teams, in formulating and writing various research and policy papers on topical macroeconomic issues about Zimbabwe and maintaining the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s macroeconomic database. I have also attended various workshops and seminars on economic policies and research. Due to my hard work and commitment, I was promoted to be a Senior Economist in the Advisor to the Governor’s office, where my main role was performance evaluation and policy implementation. I developed a Performance Management Framework for tracking effective implementation of set monetary policies by the various divisions and departments of the Bank. In that role, I was also responsible for maintaining the macro-economic data base, analyzing and reviewing policy developments as well as liaising with government and private sector.

Regionally I was part of the teams that underwent MEFMI trainings in countries such as Zambia for Macroeconomic analysis and poverty reduction. As a Zimbabwean Economist, I have lived in the pre-cris era, the crisis era and the economic recovery era.

Whilst at the Bank, I participated in research on Financial Inclusion for the poor. This research made me to realise the need to do something and bring about change for women at the grassroots level. Thus I registered a private business consultancy company in 2007 to help small business persons and entrepreneurs. Thus in January 2011, I left the bank driven by the passion for change at the micro level, researched on financial services to the low income segments of the society. After leaving the Bank in January 2011, I managed to do the following:

• I conducted research on microfinance and strategic entry into the Zimbabwean Microfinance market.
• Engaged in personal lending in oder to get a good feel of the business
• Mobilized members of the Company’s board of directors, managed to get a member from India and another one from Zambia and locals.
• I managed to apply for the Microfinance License in June 2012 and got the license in October 2012.
• Drafted job descriptions for loan officers and the accountant and hired loan officer and accountant.
• Drafted Policies and Procedure Manuals for the MFI.
• Started Microfinance operations in January 2013 with individual capital of USD20 000.
• Formulated strategy, products (individual working capital loan product and salary based loan product )
• Facilitating staff training in individual lending methodology and now working on the group lending methodology.
• Have managed to get Silver membership certification with the Zimbabwe Association of Microfinance Institutions (ZAMFI) in May 2013.
• Managed to get the Salary Services Bureau deduction code for salary based loans in June 2013.
• Attended the ITC/ILO Making Microfinance Work: Managing for Improved Performance Workshop in Zambia, in February 2013, where I qualified to be on the TOT training program.
• Facilitated the installation of a Payments Debit Order Software for the MFI.
• Managed to raise an additional USD35 000-00 towards the MFI’s working capital.
Qualified to be a Certified Associate Trainer of the ITC/ILO in Making Microfinance Work in May 2014
• We are currently working a group product for rural women widows in Domboshava and Mutare.

My Passions: 
Girl child development and women empowerment
My Challenges: 
Extra funding for my company's working capital
My Vision for the Future: 
To have the first Zimbabwe School of Microfinance
My Areas of Expertise: 
Economics, Microfinance, Strategy Development, Policy Analysis and Review
My Languages: 
English, Shona

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