Socremo Banco de Microfinancas
- Website: www.socremo.com
- Sector: Financial Services
- Country of operations: Mozambique
Making micro waves
It might not guarantee success in business, but carving out a niche in a market certainly helps – and that has been the key to the success of Socremo Banco de Microfinancas.
The bank started out as a credit society when it was founded in 1998, but transformed itself in 2005 into a commercial bank focusing on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
“The biggest opportunity we have capitalised on has been to focus on the niche SME market, which is considered very risky by other commercial banks,” says CEO Wellington Chinanzvavana. “The bank’s mission is to provide financial services to low and middle-income groups, with a special focus on micro and small entrepreneurs.”
Today the bank has 14 branches across Mozambique and offers micro and small enterprises credit, savings accounts and debit cards. To date, it has signed up 52,000 clients and has a portfolio value of $12.1m. Socremo prides itself on having a clear communication strategy and brand image, as well as offering quick loan turnaround timesand a strong relationship between loan officers and customers.
- 52,000 - the number of clients that have signed up with Socremo, resulting in a total portfolio value of £12.1m
“By making use of collateral substitutes, Socremo has managed to provide services to firms that have been excluded,” Wellington says. “The market is big because commercial banks do not fully exploit this segment due to the lack of conventional collateral.” If identifying a gap in the market has proved central to the company’s success, then so has its willingness to make tough choices. In response to recent difficult economic conditions, the bank streamlined operational costs, all but froze recruitment and replaced external credit lines with local funding.
The company is now planning to grow over the next five years, by doubling its staff.