Gladys O. is forty-five years old. She is married and has four kids who are all still in the basic school. Gladys lives with her husband and family in a community called Nkwaateng. Nkwaateng is in the Eastern Region of Ghana. A sizeable number of the inhabitants are engaged in farming activities. However, quite an appreciable number is also involved in trading and other business activities. Gladys is in the business of palm oil production. She has been in business for ten good years and is full of rich experience.
She buys the palm nuts from the local farmers in her community; processes them in her house to produce the oil and sells it at wholesale prices to her customers. Palm oil is a local vegetable oil produced from palm fruit which has been cooked, pounded, sieved and boiled for hours. The reddish substance (the oil) is skimmed off and reboiled to expel its water content. Gladys desires to use the loan to expand her business by buying the palm fruit in bulk to be able to supply to more customers.
She believes the loan assistance would enable her to scale up production to serve larger market and eventually, help improve her family finances. She is a member of a Trust Bank group called Joshua Trust Group. Members in this group guarantee for one another as social collateral to access the loan and support each other in handling repayment of the loan.