A loan of $500 helped a member to buy more lapa (wax-printed fabric) for resale.


By God's Grace Group's story

Esther T. is the leader of a group of five borrowers called By God's Grace. She sells lapa (a wax-printed fabric popular in many parts of Africa) at the Red Light Market on the outskirts of Liberia's capital, Monrovia. Esther plans to use her 8,000 Liberian Dollar portion of this 36,000 Liberian Dollar group loan to buy more lapa fabric for resale.

Esther is 45 years old, married, and has seven children whose ages range from 8 to 24 years old. Her youngest children attend elementary school and the oldest have attained a senior high education. Esther herself was never able to go to school, as she says her parents refused to let her go.

Esther has had her lapa fabric business for about 8 years now and she says she started small. Her business has grown but she says it's difficult because there are many other lapa sellers nearby, so competition is stiff. She says she tries to distinguish herself from her competitors by buying lapa fabric of high quality with fine designs.

In the photo that accompanies this profile, Esther is the one holding the sign. Comfort D. is inset at lower left.

About LEAP: The Local Enterprise Assistance Program (LEAP) is Liberia's largest and oldest continuously operating microfinance institution with 13 branches across the country. Founded in 1994, the non-profit organization has survived periods of civil war and severe socio-economic hardship. LEAP seeks to help rebuild post-conflict Liberia through its group and individual loans to micro- and small-scale entrepreneurs, and puts emphasis on lending to women.

Join the Team LEAP - Liberia lending team on Kiva today: http://www.kiva.org/community/viewTeam?team_id=10019

In this group: Esther, Bob John, Comfort, Fatu, William
*not pictured



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