A loan of $275 helped to purchase additional cooking supplies for her cafe.

Arafa's story

Arafa is a thirty-three-year-old mother and small business owner from Dar es Salaam. She is the owner of a "Mama Lishe" or local café that serves up delicious meals at affordable prices. When you see a SELFINA entrepreneur whose business title is "restaurant" or "café," you may have to adjust your mental image of what that is. A local restaurant or café in Tanzania usually consists of a rough wooden table and some long, wooden benches, with the sky as a ceiling. Such places don't even appear in the Lonely Planet's budget guide, but if you're looking for a cheap and tasty meal, and someone to have a chat with, this is the place to be. The food is all local; rice, ugali (a hot sticky dough, made from maize flour), plantain (a cooked savory banana), all served with beans, vegetables, meat, and a variety of yummy sauces. Despite only being in business since 2007, Arafa's enterprise has grown to require the help of an additional employee and generate monthly profits of 250 USD. She uses the money earned from her café to support her twelve-year-old son who is enrolled in school. Additionally, she is also the provider for a local orphan.

Arafa is requesting a loan of $275, which she intends to use to purchase additional stocks of rice, cooking oil, and wheat flour. With the increased profits that she hopes this will generate, Arafa plans to improve the standard of living of her family. In the future, she aspires to expand her café to new locations as well as increase the scale of her operation.

SELFINA has taken a lead role as a pioneer of microcredit in Tanzania. The organization is devoted to the economic empowerment of women in Tanzania through microfinance as a practical way to achieve the economic and social emancipation of women. Customs and traditions in Tanzania normally make it difficult for women to own land and assets; because of this, they are deemed non-creditworthy by financial institutions. This leads to poor financial support, hence poor access to basic needs and services. When a client needs working capital to buy a specific item, SELFINA buys the equipment for said client and extends a loan to her. The same equipment is then leased back to the client so they can use it while in process of paying back their loan, a process called a sale-and-leaseback arrangement. Once the loan has been repaid, SELFINA transfers the ownership of the equipment to the client. The advantage of microleasing over traditional microfinance loans is that is allows clients to use the equipment as collateral for future loans with SELFINA, thus enabling them to borrow larger sums in the future.

Loan details

Lenders and lending teams

Loan details