Design and Delivery Sprint: Alternative Enterprise Credit Models in Zimbabwe


This page provides a useful summary and the latest news in relation to FSD Africa’s ‘Design and Delivery Sprint’ in Zimbabwe. This is the first step in FSD Africa’s increasing commitment to inclusive financial sector development in Zimbabwe.

What is the Design and Delivery Sprint?

FSD Africa – a UK Aid agency for financial sector development in Africa – launched a competition to identify the brightest and best enterprise credit solutions in Zimbabwe. The competition aimed to build capacity, restore confidence and drive much needed capital flows to Zimbabwe’s entrepreneurs and growing companies.

The applications were judged by a panel comprising three technical experts and one consumer (MSME) representative. The winners of Round 1 each received £10,000 to strengthen the design and test the business case. From there, Round 1 winners would complete a Round 2 application and up to two winners would have an opportunity to pitch their concepts to the FSD Africa Investment Committee for up to £500,000 of investment. If approval is given, independent due diligence will begin and depending on the outcome, funding will be awarded and a scaled pilot project will be undertaken.


FSD Africa is very grateful for its partnerships with the Reserve Bank of ZimbabweDFID Zimbabwe and the SME Association of Zimbabwe.

Recent Updates

We are delighted to announce that after receiving 14 strong applications, the judges were able to narrow it down to four winners. This was done on the basis of ‘feasibility, relevance and impact’ in building capacity, restoring confidence and driving much needed capital to Zimbabwe’s entrepreneurs and growing companies.

All four companies are now strengthening the design and testing the business case with the £10,000 seed capital. The Round 2 deadline is 1st of March with winners expected to be informed by the end of April.

The four winners:

Harare Receivables Exchange

HRE is a non-bank financial institution focused on providing working capital solutions in a transparent, efficient and secure manner. The seed capital will help develop our electronic trading platform for our invoice-discounting finance which assist suppliers and buyers deal with cash flow issues.

Inclusive Financial Services

IFS is a registered microfinance institution specialising in provision of financial services to microenterprises, SMEs, agriculture value chains and smallholder farmers. The seed capital will go a long way in assisting us meet the expenses in project implementation and user testing of the credit wallet for micro enterprises and smallholder farmers.

Zimbabwe Microfinance Fund

ZMF’s proposed solution is a digital scoring tool for (M)SME lending in Zimbabwe developed using alternative data and non-traditional sources of data. This will enable financial service providers to lend to previously excluded entrepreneurs and (M)SMEs, across several economic sectors.


Thrive provides business training and loans for women entrepreneurs at the bottom of the pyramid.  This project applies a psychometric loan evaluation to enable better lending decisions for previously excluded potential borrowers at lower cost.

Key (Past and Forthcoming) Events:

  • Market Engagement Event – 14 June 2017 (0715-0900).FSD Africa and its partners invite key decision makers at financial service providers to join us at Cresta Lodge Hotel, Harare for a breakfast market engagement event. At this meeting, FSD Africa, Reserve Bank of ZimbabweDFID Zimbabwe and the SME Association of Zimbabwe will be on hand to explain more and to answer questions.
  • Round One Application Deadline – 11 August 2017 (1700 CAT). Round One Application Forms must be submitted to: ‘‘ with the subject line: ‘Zimbabwe Design and Delivery Sprint Application’ for assessment. Please find Round One Application Forms below.
  • Round One Grant Agreements – w/b 23 October 2017. Business case development, concept testing and capacity strengthening underway with first disbursements completed.
  • Round Two Application Deadline – 1st March 2018 (1700 CAT). Round Two Application Forms (see below) must be submitted to: ‘‘ with the subject line: ‘Zimbabwe Design and Delivery Sprint Application’ for assessment.

 Key Documents:

  • Briefing NoteA more detailed description of the project, highlighting why FSD Africa will use a competition mechanism, how it will work, and why it will focus on enterprise credit. It also provides useful details on expected timings and the application process.
  • Round One Application Form. An unlocked MS Word document template. This is designed for Round 1 applicants to complete and submit to FSD Africa for assessment. It should take no longer than two hours to complete.
  • Round Two Application FormAn unlocked MS Word document template. This is designed for Round 2 applicants to complete and submit to FSD Africa for assessment.
  • Market Engagement Meeting AgendaTo raise awareness about credit market issues in Zimbabwe, and to provide greater detail on the competition, FSD Africa and its partners will host a market engagement event on 14 June in Harare.
  • National Financial Inclusion Strategy (2016-2020).This document highlights the Reserve Bank’s vision for financial inclusion in Zimbabwe. It has detailed SME finance sections.
  • Making Access Possible Diagnostic Zimbabwe (2016)This document helps describe the financial sector landscape in Zimbabwe with very useful sections on the country’s credit markets.
  • Round One Judging Panel. To ensure applications are successfully assessed, four independent experts will judge Round One applications. They represent a combination of local knowledge and international expertise in credit market development.

 FSD Africa rights

FSD Africa reserves the right to award financial assistance to partners at its own discretion.