Llesh is a barrel maker. He is in his thirties, married, and a father of three young children; eleven, eight, and six months old. They live in a rocky village in Northern Albania that is a region of great geographical and climatic diversity. The distinctive seasonal cycle of snowy winters, showy springs, cool summers and brilliant falls in the North has profoundly shaped the character and economy of the region. Most of the locals here are involved in livestock farming; a few of them in agriculture, and very few of them in specialized trade activities, with Llesh being one of these. He makes wooden oak barrels that can be used for oil, vinegar & water storage and wine & beer fermentation/maturing.
In the last eight years that Llesh has had his own barrel-making workshop, he has sold thousands of barrels to wine producers and locals. There is a rapid growth in his business and he is now requesting a loan for the first time to purchase a large quantity of oak.
Kindly note that Llesh is the only cooper (barrel maker) in the whole district.
About VisionFund Albania
VisionFund Albania is a micro-finance subsidiary of child hunger nonprofit World Vision International. Striving to improve child welfare, the organization offers a variety of loan products designed for rural, traditionally underserved clients and their families. These products include agriculture, business and household improvement loans, as well as "integration loans" targeted to help the poorest, most vulnerable Albanian households acquire value chain resources.
While VFA is focused on the empowerment of the poor overall, it pays special attention to women. About 60% of loans to entrepreneurs on Kiva go to women.