A loan of $900 helped to increase inventory.


Haelen's story

HAELEN, age 34, runs a general store called "Imma's Shop" (named after her son Immanuel), and also sells clothing from house to house. She lives with her shopkeeper (her niece) in back of the store in a one-room house. Haelen sends money to her mother in the village, who is raising her 14-year-old son. She was brought to Dar es Salaam over 4 years ago by her sister in order to find work, after she and her husband separated. Since then, her sister has passed away.


Haelen opened her shop in 2003. There, she sells sugar, beans, rice, sodas, ice cubes, and other general food items. She makes about $18 a week from this business. Rent for her shop costs about $20 a month and she pays her shopkeeper a salary of the same amount.


Realizing that the shop business was not dependable because of the fluctuating costs of her inventory, Haelen started selling clothes on the street about 6-7 months ago. From this business, she makes a profit of about $35 a week. Her customers generally pay her by weekly installments. Besides paying for school fees and general expenses, she is using her profits to build a house on land that she recently purchased.


Earlier this year, Haelen took out a loan which helped her move her shop to a different location. Having paid this back successfully, she hopes to take out another loan to increase her shop’s inventory and to buy more clothes to sell.


She belongs to the group "Giraffe," which consists of 27 other members who keep each other accountable and insure one another in paying back their loans.



Loan details


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Loan details