Tormented by a difficult childhood and a polygamous father who wanted to marry her off, Ethel Mupambwa did not let her predicament deter her pursuit for happiness, instead she decided to run away from home at the age of 16, and 19 years later, she is about to become Africa’s next biggest success story.
Today she stands amongst the finalists of the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) top 10 heroes- a regional entrepreneurship program that identifies, spotlights and support African entrepreneur heroes creating impact in their communities and building a more inclusive economies for the future.
The program is a brainchild of Chinese billionaire, Jack Ma, the founder of global e-commerce giant, Alibaba.
Mupambwa who is now the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of MoneyMart, a microfinance firm with branches in Harare, Mutare, Bindura and Mhondoro has finally seen her efforts in supporting women in the low income bracket get regional recognition.
“Armed with nothing but determination I started MoneyMart Finance five years ago,” she told 263Chat Business.
“I used to go the markets every day and talk to the women and ask them their challenges in business and how could I help them overcome those challenges. The women spoke and I listened. I then tailor- made the loans to cater for them and to date I and my team have served over 5000 clients and distributed over 1200 solar home systems,” she added.
Mupambwa is driven by the impact her company has had on the lives of ordinary rural women in pursuit of decent livelihoods especially when considering that access to capital is a major stumbling block for emerging businesses.
She has also helped many of these businesses formalize their operations in an economy where informality is ranked second in the world, after Bolivia.
But now, Mupambwa is focused on stepping into the top three finalists and is setting up a campaign to mop up support on social media under the #empowerthezimbowoman #ABH2020Challenge on Twitter.
The winner of the program will be unveiled in November.