Scaling up microfinance institutions : a case study of the Kuyasa Fund

Henwood, Olivia (2009-03)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2009.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Globally microfinance is recognised as an important tool in addressing poverty and in building the assets of poor people. Housing microfinance is emerging as an important tool for assisting poor people to improve their housing conditions and to build their asset values. However, microfinancial institutions are perpetually dogged by small scale financially unviable operations. This study seeks to identify the factors that must be present to ensure that a microfinance initiative is able to scale up significantly, and further investigates the Kuyasa Fund as an example of a microfinance organisation that is scaling up. The McKinsey 7S model is used to evaluate the Kuyasa Fund’s plans for scaling up and the shared values, strategy, structure, skills, staffing requirements, style and systems of the Kuyasa Fund is examined in determining the scalability of the Kuyasa Fund. Overall Kuyasa have either already addressed the critical factors in determining its growth or it is in the process of addressing those factors. The biggest strengths of the Kuyasa Fund in its growth plans are the cohesive strategy and in the compelling strategic intent that represents its shared values. However in the medium and long term the greatest challenge is located in the long-term financing and transformation of the Kuyasa Fund from a non-profit to a for-profit entity that has equity shareholders. In achieving this transformation Kuyasa would be required to balance its development objectives with the requirements of equity holders, who will require prescribed rates of return. Preventing mission drifts and achieving scale will be the most important tensions to balance. To mitigate these risks and to set clear guidelines for its operations, the Kuyasa board developed clear criteria for the evaluation of equity partners and the board also set a trajectory for the transformation of Kuyasa to a company. The intention of these is to guide the Kuyasa operation towards the milestones that must be reached before conversion and to set the criteria to select partners. The Kuyasa Fund’s path to conversion from a small niche player limited to one province to a national role player, transformed into an equity holding company will present interesting material for learning about scaling up development efforts, and not just for microfinance.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Mikrofinansiering word wêreldwyd erken as ‘n belangrike hulpmiddel in die stryd teen armoede en in die bou van bates vir arm mense. Behuising-mikrofinansiering is besig om as ‘n belangrike instrument na vore te tree om arm mense te help om hul behuisingsomstandighede te verbeter en hul batewaarde op te bou. Mikrofinansieringsinstansies word egter aanhoudend lastig geval deur kleinskaalse besighede wat nie finansieel lewensvatbaar is nie. Hierdie studie poog om die faktore te identifiseer wat teenwoordig moet wees om te verseker dat ‘n mikrofinasieringsinisiatief beduidend kan uitbrei en ondersoek verder die Kuyasa Fund as ‘n voorbeeld van ‘n mikrofinansieringsorganisasie wat tans uitbrei. Die McKinsey 7S-model word gebruik om die Kuyasa Fund se planne vir uitbreiding te evalueer. Die Kuyasa Fund se gedeelde waardes, strategie, struktuur, vaardighede, personeelvereistes, styl en stelsels word ondersoek om die uitbreidingsmoontlikhede van die fonds te bepaal. Oorhoofs het Kuyasa alreeds die kritiese faktore aangespreek wat hul groei bepaal of hulle is in die proses om hierdie faktore aan te spreek. Die grootste sterkpunte van die Kuyasa Fund se uitbreidingsplanne lê in die samehangende strategie en in die gebiedende strategiese rigting wat sy gedeelde waardes verteenwoordig. In die medium- tot langtermyn is die grootste uitdaging geleë in die langtermyn-finansiering en transformasie van die Kuyasa Fund van ‘n niewinsgewende tot ‘n winsgewende entiteit met ekwiteitsaandeelhouers. Ten einde hierdie transformasie deur te gaan, sal van Kuyasa vereis word om sy ontwikkelingsdoelwitte te balanseer met die vereistes van die aandeelhouers, wat hul eie opbrengskoerse sal vereis. Om koersvas hul missie na te streef teenoor die beplande uitbreiding te behaal sal die belangrikste spannings wees om te balanseer. Ten einde hierdie risiko’s te beperk en duidelike riglyne daar te stel vir sy bedrywighede, het die Kuyasa raad duidelike kriteria ontwikkel om ekwiteitsvennote te evalueer. Die raad het ook ‘n vorderingsplan bepaal vir die transformasie van Kuyasa tot ‘n maatskappy. Die bedoeling hiervan is om die Kuyasa bedryf te lei op die pad na mylpale wat bereik moet word voordat omskakeling kan plaasvind en om kriteria daar te stel om vennote te kies. Die Kuyasa Fund se pad na omskakeling van ‘n klein niche speler, beperk tot een provinsie, tot ‘n nasionale rolspeler, wat getransformeer het tot ‘n ekwiteitsmaaskappy sal interessante leergeleenthede bied oor die uitbreiding van ontwikkelingsmaatskappye en nie net op die gebied van mikrofinansiering nie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/80483
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