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Micro-finance Programme


1000 WOMEN IN 2015, BENEFITING FROM OUR MICRO-LOANS AND CLOSE MENTORING. THIS WILL CHANGE THE LIVES OF MORE THAN 5000 PEOPLE, CONSIDERING A WOMAN RE-INVEST 98% OF HER INCOME TO SUPPOR HER FAMILY OF FIVE.

Women’s business programme

Poverty is a vicious cycle. Families can’t provide for their children. Children end up on the streets. Small loans to women have proved effective in improving the economic situation of the family and making them more resilient to financial shocks that can be otherwise devastating. Furthermore, mothers who run their own businesses gain confidence and self worth and act as strong role models for their children, particularly their daughters.

Our microfinance program aims to create independent, economically sufficient women who can provide for their families.

This program is scalable, cost effective and for each woman who benefits directly there are 5 dependents that benefit directly. Our 800 women go on to benefit 4000 dependents, mainly those most vulnerable – children and elderly family members. The women who take part in our micro-finance programme learn life skills and financial literacy, as well as the importance of saving money. With the small loan that they receive (£35 in the first round), they’re typically able to raise their family above the poverty line in around one or two years.

As with our vocational training programme, these women attend a business course where they learn life skills such as saving money, basic accounting and how to be financially literate. They are also taught about family planning, hygiene and nutrition. Typically they create up to five times more profit with their businesses, than they did beforehand.

One of the mothers of our schoolchildren… We could give you hundreds of examples where an investment of £35 in one women enables her to support her family and weather economic shocks. Here is one example:

  • Tigist Nega – Has four daughters and lives at the top of Entoto just off the main road. Her husband is a priest at the large church nearby and earns a small amount and gives very little of it to his wife. In an effort to gain some financial independence Tigist was making tella and serving it to customers in a make shift “bar” in her front yard. However, she was only able to make small amounts because she could not afford big enough quantities of the raw materials. Tigist was among the first women to join our program thanks to our Entoto Satellite Office location. With her first loan she expanded her tella making business and bought chickens as well.

 

She too has big plans for the next loan and is currently paying off the first loan quickly and without problems. She wants to start buying coffee and expand her bar/café and grow her customers. She says that our program has inspired her to see the potential in running a business. With the training she has learned important skills needed to maintain a successful business. Most importantly she now earns her own money to spend how she chooses. Her 3 eldest daughters go to school and she wants to be a role model for them to continue their education and have their own financial independence.

A huge Thank You to Annoushka Ducas of Annoushka Jewellery, who has provided exceptional support to our Micro-Finance Programme : economically and strategically, Annoushka has been fundamental in the progress and expansion of the programme.

We will expand the programme by 200-300 new women per year and cannot thank them enough for their generosity, which will change the lives of more than 5700 people over the course of their commitment.