Micro Provident Botswana, the country’s biggest micro-lending outfit, celebrated its 10 anniversary this week at a time when it’s is embarking on its regional expansion plans.
A statement released this week said the company’s formation in 1998 was inspired by the will to give ordinary citizens the tools they need to lift themselves from poverty and economic challenges by providing opportunities through consumer lending and other financial services aimed at helping Letshego clients to reap the rewards of their own potential.
“Since its formation in September 1998, Letshego has experienced rapid growth and evolved from being just a consumer lending entity to a fully fledged financial services company. Over the years, it has introduced innovative products and services which include legal insurance, funeral insurance, Letshego Loan, personal development Thuto Loan, No deposit Vehicle Finance and the Executive Loan. What underpins the development of these financial solutions is the company understands of the market it operates within and its commitment to the development of quality products and solutions to meet the needs of its clients,” it said.
“Micro finance has become a significant part of financial services. While in the past micro lending was perceived as a means of providing poor citizens with small loans to help them sustain their living, today the service includes comprehensive and innovative financial solutions. Letshego’s growth in the Botswana Stock Exchange from a share price of P1.00 in 2002 to a share price of over P14.00 today, is a true reflection of the confidence and respect Letshego has gained in Botswana’s financial industry,” said the Managing Director of Letshego, Jan Classen.
One of Letshego’s success stories as it celebrates its 10 years of existence is the Letshego Guard, which administers legal expenses insurance policies.
Established only four years ago, Letshego Guard is a leader in this service, not only in terms of the highest number of members in excess of 40 000, but also in adhering to strict and important compliance policies and regulations set by the Botswana government and the industry.
Letshego’s existence has also provided its partner commercial banks with tangible opportunities not only in Botswana, but also in other countries it operates within. The commercial banks have benefited in various ways including micro finance opportunities and indirectly gaining access to a new customer segment.
“Looking back, we are proud to have been an integral part of the Botswana government efforts not only in assisting in the improvement of the ordinary citizen’s quality of life, but also having adhered to good business practices and principles as well as high corporate governance standards throughout our existence. These are important business imperatives in a developing economy such as that of our country, said Letshego’s Public Relations Officer, Keneilwe Matseke.
Over the past 10 years, Letshego has also spread its wings to other African countries such as Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. With regard to future plans, Letshego’s intend to extend its footprint to more countries in Africa, with discussions in three of the targeted ones being at an advanced stage.
Furthermore preparations to launch online applications, for the convenience of Letshego’s clients are about to be completed. The online applications will further improve the company’s current 48 hours turn around time.
Letshego employs 140 people in Botswana, with majority of its Executive team members being Botswana citizens.