Kampala-based Janson Mugabe is CEO of Mushana Electronic Savings & Credit Cooperatives Society (SACCO) System that has an application geared towards enhancing saving culture through a technological approach in society. He spoke to the Foundation about the journey.
Q: How did you get your idea or concept for your business?
A: This being a digital era, youths failed to join already existing SACCOs which have not adopted ICT. Having realised that, I have harnessed ICT to come up with a new innovation (Electronic SACCO System www.mushanapp.com) and the first of its kind in Uganda to enhance SACCO services, since most youth spend most of the time on internet, this new innovation will enable youth access SACCO services online and mobile phones.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) now drives businesses in a fast-paced world, where competitiveness and customer satisfaction is measured by efficiencies, convenience, delivery speeds and cost-effectiveness. SACCOs cannot escape the hold of ICT over business operations, especially considering that ICT enables businesses to find new ways to drive down the costs of products and processes, in addition to improving performance.
Q: What service(s) or product(s) do you offer/manufacture?
A: The following are some of our services
- Provide SACCO C communication forums for communities.
- Membership and Customer Details.
- Remittance Management
- Loan and Share Management
- Front Office Customer Service.
- Member Specific Reporting and Standard Reporting
- SMS Services
- Data Imports and Exports from Microsoft Excel or text files
- ·Un-Limited User Customization.
- · Offer email and mobile updates on everything from what’s being discussed on the forum
Q: What is unique about your business?
Mushana is unique in the sense that Mobile Money has made it possible for people to pay their public utility bills (i.e. Water and Electricity Bills) and even to operate bank accounts using their Mobile Phones. What Was remaining to be done was simply to introduce an Electronic Savings & Credit Co-operative (E-SACCO) Society without borders that is able to capture daily remittances from all parts of the world (i.e. a border less global movement or society) where people who own and operate mobile devices are willing to upgrade their mobile phones with the capacity for Mobile Money Transfer (MMT) technology.
Q: What are your company’s goals?
A: Among other things, we want to:
- To teach People the culture of savings.
- To encourage people to save and use their savings constructively
- To encourage people to excel in their trades, professions and businesses and do their best every where they are.
- To teach People the culture of conducting business online through internet and mobile transactions.
- To promote thrift among the members by affording them an opportunity for accumulating savings and paying reasonable interest without risk on such savings.
- To create a source of funds from which Mushana afford relief to members in need by availing Credit to its members for productive, provident purposes, and in emergency situations at fair and reasonable rates of interest under given terms of repayment.
Q: How does your company help the community where it is located?
A: Mushana E-SACCO System can be used globally to pool savings by Internet and mobile phone users which can be invested in income generating projects that affect the poor directly.
Q: How has the Mentor Learning Programme been for you?
A: Mentor Learning Programme has been a great thing to me, it has moved me miles, I now understand what it means investing and building a business. I hope to build a product that will work for this generation and generations to come with a wider network.
Q. Would you say the 12-week program changed your business plan significantly?
A: I have been able to learn very many things in this 12 week Program which I didn’t know and it will help me build a better product hence improvement of my business plan.