From September 7, 2023, FINCA Tanzania had the privilege of hosting a three-day visit by Dr. John Hatch, one of the founders of FINCA International. Accompanying him were Ms. Andrée Simon, the president and CEO of FINCA International and FINCA Impact Finance, and Ms. Cassandra Johnson, the Chief of Staff of FINCA Impact Finance.
Their arrival in Dar es Salaam was met with great enthusiasm and delight. Dr. Hatch, displaying his trademark “FINCA hug,” warmly embraced his hosts, who were led by Mr. Edward Talawa, the CEO of FINCA Tanzania.
During Dr. Hatch’s visit to the headquarters of FINCA Tanzania, and to the two Dar es Salaam based FINCA branches (Victoria branch and the newly established Tegeta branch), he conveyed a powerful message to the employees, as he emphasized the importance of remaining committed to serving the impoverished communities and reminded everyone of their significant responsibility to help those trapped in extreme poverty. He explained that this mission was at the core of FINCA’s establishment and his vision.
Dr. Hatch reiterated the message during a dinner event hosted by FINCA’s management in his honor, on the second day of the visit. He emphasized that he didn’t wish FINCA to lose sight of its fundamental purpose of prioritizing the needs of the less fortunate, extending beyond the conventional access frontier. The FINCA TZ team had a unique opportunity to hear the history of FINCA directly from its founder, and this experience filled them with enthusiasm and motivation. Dr. Hatch’s enduring dedication to helping the poor and those with low incomes, even after nearly four decades, was truly inspiring. Ms. Andrée Simon stressed the importance of thinking creatively and diversifying FINCA’s products. She emphasized the need to make the products affordable and emotionally relevant to the target market.
During an interview with a national media house (E-FM), Dr. Hatch underscored the critical role of financial services and financial education in poverty alleviation. He expressed pride in FINCA’s worldwide achievements in its mission to combat poverty. On her part, Ms. Simon highlighted FINCA’s four-decade commitment to poverty alleviation, particularly among micro-entrepreneurs, and pledged the network’s continued dedication to fighting poverty through innovative means. During the interview, Mr. Edward Talawa expressed deep gratitude for hosting such a high-profile visit, especially in the aftermath of the challenging COVID-19 period. He highlighted the visit’s underlying message for FINCA: to persist in supporting micro-entrepreneurs at the base of the economic pyramid through innovative and efficient approaches. Mr. Talawa noted that this mission was even more critical after the effects of COVID-19 pandemic. He expressed FINCA TZ’s readiness to collaborate with various partners to realize FINCA’s vision.
The guests also had the opportunity to visit and engage with small merchants at a marketplace near one of FINCA’s branches, the new Tegeta Branch. Ms. Simon reassured the community at the marketplace that FINCA remained dedicated to supporting low-income traders and was actively planning to reach them more efficiently through technology. While speaking to traders at the marketplace, Mr. Talawa discussed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had resulted in the bank losing many small business customers, who are the primary target of FINCA financial services. He stated that FINCA was now prepared to serve these customers with renewed energy and promised to provide special loans to over 70 percent of the market’s small traders, numbering more than 1,200.
On the whole, FINCA Tanzania team expresses profound gratitude for this visit, recognizing that it has infused the team with newfound strength and determination to continue serving low-income small businesspeople.
At the Julius Nyerere International Airport, the three-man delegation was met by some representatives of FINCA Tanzania Management and staff.
During a visit at the marketplace – interacting with Mr. Steven Mtatina, a long term FINCA client who through FINCA financing grew from a micro entrepreneur to a middle scale businessman.
An attentive ear to clients
Mr. Talawa introducing Ms. Adree Simon and Ms. Cassandra Johnson to all staff, who were virtually connected across the country
An intaractive session of Ms. Simon with all FINCA TZ staff, virtually connected across the country
A moment of deliberation with the new Tegata Branch staff team and Management of FINCA Tanzania
The visiting delegation posing for a photo with some FINCA TZ management team and staff members of the Victoria branch, when the team visited the branch.