January 25, 2016
A loan obtained from one of ZMF’s partner organisations (Quest Financial Services) enabled 38 year old Grain Mapundu to revive his flagging telecommunications business. With the loan that Grain obtained, he purchased new stock thereby expanding his business.
Born in the rural area of Mt. Darwin in 1975, Grain Mapundu moved to the city of Harare in the 80s where he became a gardener to raise money for school fees. He eventually completed his education and became a technician with the Post and Telecommunications (PTC) parastatal. However, the 1996 PTC workers’ strike caused Grain to lose his job, motivating him to start his own telecommunications company a few years later.
Fig 1: Grain Mapundu
By 2004, Grain Mapundu had a staff complement of 8 people, providing PABX installations and servicing to companies within Harare. ‘When we started, Mapundu Investments’ performance was good. We even had 8. But things started to fall apart because of the economic meltdown – we ought to have closed but I decided to stay in Zimbabwe because a client is a king and I chose to serve my clients’.
In 2012, ZMF provided wholesale funding to Quest Financial Services to enable them to expand their microfinance services to their clientele. With the funding obtained, Quest Financial Services was able to provide a further microloan to Grain Mapundu enabling him to purchase cabling for his PABX installations.
To date, the company is gradually turning around assisted by the microloans Grain has obtained. With the profits he has made from his small enterprise, Grain has also managed to support his wife and three children. ‘My first born is doing Form Four, with this small business. I even support my sister and ill brother, together with their children. What I would like to say to those people who fund Quest – if only they could give more money so that in turn we as businesses can have more money to expand’.