Malawi is cautiously returning to lending after the intentional slow-down associated with the 2011-2012 macroeconomic issues in the country. The School Improvement loan was re-launched in December alongside the launch of School Fee loans. As a result, the active outstanding School Improvement loans rose from 15 to 18, a growth of 20% since the third quarter of 2012. This return to growth is a positive sign that we will achieve new growth in 2013 as projected. Clients are expected to begin taking advantage of the School Fee loans in the first half of 2013.
Opportunity’s EduSave product, designed with MicroEnsure, directly addresses this gap by enabling parents to earn an extra safety net. EduSave works when a parent saves enough money to qualify for free insurance. For example, when a parent saves $25 they qualify for $125 in school fees insurance – if they die or become permanently disabled, a trusted individual receives a payout of 5x the savings balance to keep the child in school.
The product launched in Malawi with 170,000 parents qualified for coverage on the first day. Our average savings account holder has 3.8 children – therefore, on its first day, EduSave covered 646,000 Malawian children. The product also went live on a national scale in Ghana and is set to launch in Uganda.
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