London-based Zimbabwean billionaire and businessman Strive Masiyiwa, is to establish a new $100 million fund by end of 2019, to support local entrepreneurs.
The new fund named “Masiyiwa Rural Challenge Fund” will be fully funded by the businessman and, will grant $1,000- $10,000 5-year non-secured loans with a 5 percent maximum interest rate.
These loans will be granted via Steward Bank mainly owned by Masiyiwa’s family.
“We have also challenged our friends in the philanthropy community to join us to expand it across Africa,” the businessman said in his statement.
The announcement comes amid a tense socioeconomic environment in Zimbabwe marked by demonstrations since January 2019. In late January 2019, the main telecom operators in the country were forced to stop offering their internet services.
Zimbabwe has been ranked by the UN as 156th in terms of human capital development. In addition, World Bank indicated that the poverty line reached 72 percent in the country in 2011.