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.
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