This is Neema M.’s restaurant. Well, the kitchen anyway. The eating area is some wooden benches and a table a few metres to the left of the photo. But don’t be put off by the basic setting (or the chickens wandering around). The food is delicious - ugali (a kind of cooked sticky dough made from maize flour), plantain (a kind of savoury cooked banana) and rice, all served with delicious sauces, vegetables, meat and beans.
Neema established the business in 2005 and now requires a loan of $550 to purchase additional equipment (bowls, pots and plates), as well as some basic ingredients in bulk (rice, flour, beans). She is married to her husband, Paulo, with whom she has five children between the ages of 11 and 23. Neema and Paulo also care for two of Neema’s nieces.
SELFINA is engaged in the economic empowerment of women in Tanzania through leasing and leaseback facilities as a practical way to achieve economic and social emancipation of women.
SELFINA has taken a lead role as a pioneer of micro-credit in Tanzania through Micro Leasing. Customs and traditions in Tanzania normally make it difficult for women to own land and assets; thus, termed not-creditworthy by financial institutions as they lack tangible collateral assets. This leads to poor financial support, which in turn leads to poor access to basic needs and services for women with low incomes.
SELFINA buys from and leases equipment to women. Where a client needs working capital, SELFINA buys equipment from the said client extending a loan to her, and then leases beck the same equipment – a process called a "sale and leaseback arrangement".