VIRL Financial Services
VIRL Financial Services is developmental microfinance that focuses on providing loan products to small holder farmers, and micro and small enterprises targeting women and youth. This is supported by training for financial literacy and business skills. The business has 5 loan products: Working Capital, Agriculture lnput, Value Chain, Life Enhancement and Asset Finance. These loan products address SDG1, SDG2, SDGs, SDG7. VIRL focuses on improving productivity for the unbanked communities that would otherwise have no access to finance, which improves economic activities for the unbanked, especially the rural communities. Once these communities generate income regularly, they can then afford to switch over to renewable energy products for better lifestyles and improved production in their economic activities.
Our role is to catalyse the use of alternative energy by individuals at the bottom of the pyramid. VIRL has a team with vast experience in lending and its delivery channels are a combination of branch network, agents and ITC platforms. Through our association with AECF, VIRL Financial Services is now a player in increasing access to solar products for rural communities. Most rural communities cannot afford up front purchase of solar products but if these are spread over a period of time, they are able to adopt to these solutions. While Paygo has played a role in mitigating credit risk, our experience as a micro-finance is that just cutting off access to lights is not inclusive finance. Understanding the customers’ pain point and their productivity cycle is critical.