This is Saimir, who is 36 years old. He is a bar-restaurant owner who learned culinary skills in Greece and worked in Greece and Kosovo prior to opening his own place five years ago, in his hometown. He immigrated to Greece with his parents when he was a teenager and came back when he turned 31.
Here is what he said to the loan officer: “I loved living in Greece and learning so much in every aspect of life. Greece made me a decent person and I am so glad that I had such an opportunity. Sometimes I feel more Greek than Albanian and it might sound odd but it’s true.”
Saimir’s restaurant is preferred by many locals due to his good cooked foods and his personable nature. He wants this loan to stock up on inventory items.
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.