The Power of a Loan and a Business Savvy Woman.
Mary is 38 years old and mother to a 7 year old child.
In just over 2 years she has gone from selling vegetables at the roadside to being the proud owner of a hair salon with 2 employees, and has plans to open another shop in the near future.
“I always wanted a hairdressing salon. At first, whilst still selling vegetables, I diversified and also starting selling weaves, then I began providing hairdressing services until I had saved up and felt comfortable enough to have a shop”.
How has she done this?
Through start up loans and business training from Microloan Foundation, Malawi (MLF).
MLF loans are dedicated 100% to women. Before applying, women must form solidarity groups and elect a Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer.
MLF does not take any form of collateral, rather the women guarantee each other’s repayments, a little like social underwriting where they vouch for a person’s good character and motivation.
Like Mary, most women in the groups are long term clients who continually take out loans to support and grow their businesses.
For those who have a long standing relationship as a client, an excellent repayment history and superb group management, they are rewarded with a loan at a lower interest rate made possible by Kiva lenders.
“Our group is very grateful for the loan through Kiva, it has provided nearly all of us with increased working capital and the lower interest rate means our profits are larger”.
Mary is just one example of how these business loans are enabling 1000’s of Malawian women to support their families, send their children to school and/ or gain financial independence from their husbands.
To support other women in business, please consider lending to a solidarity group through Kiva’s partner, Micro loan Foundation.