OIBM tour continues

Our tour of Opportunity International Bank of Malawi continues! After some discussion it seems that Marissa and I will be working with OIBM to construct their website and train employees on how to publish to the web. Today they took us to the homes of a few of their “success story” clients. I have heard so much wonderful hype about “microfinance” that I really enjoyed the chance to meet some of the people that have benefited from it directly.

We first meet Essime Mussa and her husband who now run a profitable grocery store in a town called Kaliyaka just outside of the capital city Lilongwe. The grocery is a one-room storefront with a large service window extending across the face of the building. An inventory of everything from soap, sodas, to breads is stacked up against the back wall from floor to ceiling. Several steps lead down from the store to the road in front and display the stores stock of maize and cooking oil.


Tour of Opportunity International Bank of Malawi

Today, Marissa and I toured a successful microfinance bank, called Opportunity International Bank of Malawi (OIBM). The bank is quickly gaining international attention. For those wondering, microfinance is an effort to provide traditional banking services like loans and savings accounts to the poorer sectors of the population. These sectors of the population are generally excluded from financial services because most commercial banks believe that it is not profitable to serve them. From what I understand, OIBM differs from most commercial banks, not in the way it is run, but in the people that it seeks to serve as clients.