In Uganda, there is only one bank branch for every 100,000 people. Chims Enterprises is an MTN Mobile Money franchise that aims to help reduce this gap. Formally registered in August 2009 by Norman and Fiona Mutekanga the company endeavors to provide a convenient, secure, and affordable way to send and receive money through mobile phones without a bank account. Chims also allows users to pay for utility and services as well as make withdrawals from involved bank ATMs.
Norman approached GroFin in 2006 explaining “GroFin provided us with the necessary advice and funds to run the business effectively. GroFin supported us in acquiring a premise in 2007, which continues to do extremely well. This [pointing to a map of kiosks] is all because of GroFin’s support.” A second investment by GroFin in 2011 allowed for the establishment of additional MTN Mobile Money centres. Mobile Money allows customers and the general public to transfer money from one phone to another through mobile accounts. “I was one of the pioneers in Uganda to join MTN Mobile Money, I saw the potential in it and being their client, GroFin again supported me to grow from one shop in 2009 to 420 MTN Mobile Money outlets today.
This is evidenced by our status as the top MTN Mobile Money agent in the country,” proudly explained Norman. Chims directly employs 160 people and has indirectly created job opportunities for many more. With a growing customer base currently exceeding 38,500 Norman expects that, “within the next 3-5 years we will cover the whole country—creating secure monetary transactions and optimising the opportunity for millions of people to use mobile data.”