This is Samuel Abdul M., age 36. He was born in Magburaka town, Tonkolili District, in northern Sierra Leone. Abdul is married to a businesswoman and the two have four children. Three of his children are in primary school and one is in secondary school. Abdul runs a video center (a cinema with several 19” televisions) where he shows movies and European soccer matches. People of all ages come to watch Premier League, FA Cup, Carling Cup and European Championship Cup matches. Once in a while, he’ll also televise the German, Spanish and Italian league games. He has never received a loan from SMT before, but is now applying for one to help him strengthen his business.
With this loan, Abdul will make a great improvement to his operation. Currently, he is using two satellite dishes, but this is not enough. These dishes cannot show all of the above-mentioned matches. Abdul will therefore add some of his own savings to the money from the loan to buy a new satellite dish that can show all of the above-mentioned matches. He will travel to Freetown, about 240 miles round trip, to buy it.
Not having the third dish has been Abdul’s greatest challenge in his business. Many customers deserted him because of his inability to show all of the matches. But with this loan, and the dish that he’ll be able to buy, he is optimistic that he will be able to regain all of his lost customers and even find some new ones. Many of the youths in town prefer his video center to others because of its convenient location in the center of town. In addition to having a good location, he is young and many youth like patronizing with him because of their similarities. Also, as chairman of the Motorbike Rider’s Association, he is very popular among the many motorbike riders.
When business improves for Abdul, he will be able to take good care of his family, pay school fees, and provide them with more food and clothing.
About Salone Microfinance Trust (SMT)
Salone Microfinance Trust (SMT) is Kiva’s oldest field partner in Sierra Leone. SMT began operations in 2002 as a microcredit program of the NGO Child Fund Sierra Leone under a USAID program to assist the reintegration of ex combatants back into their communities. Today, SMT offers group, agricultural, individual and salary loans to micro-entrepreneurs through six branches and one sub-branch in rural, urban, and peri-urban areas. By providing small loans and other financial services, SMT empowers poor clients to generate more income to help their families, improve their wellbeing, and create a more vibrant private small-business sector in Sierra Leone.