A loan of $375 helped to expand her kuku business and buy a cow for milk.

Neema E.'s story

Mambo (Greetings!) from Tanzania! This is 41-year-old Neema M. from Tukuyu. She is married with four children between the ages of 5 and 16. Additionally, she is responsible for supporting one dependent because her parents cannot take care of him.

Neema has been running a kuku business since 1995. Raising kuku is a popular micro-business in Tanzania, especially amongst SELFINA clients. In fact, if you are a regular lender on kiva.org, you may be tired of reading about kuku. Who or what are kuku, you may ask. Kuku means "chickens" in Swahili, and raising them for sale is popular for a number of reasons:

First, they require little start-up capital. You can start with one or two, and either add to them as you go or wait for them to multiple naturally. Second, they require little space, so sometimes you can just let them run around in your garden or compound. Third, while they are growing they produce eggs, which can either be sold to provide a supplementary source of income, or eaten to provide a supplementary source of protein. I’m sure there are hundreds of other reasons why raising kuku is so popular (maybe they are friendlier than other animals? Prettier?), but this is all time and space will allow.

She works at the business for 9-12 hours per day, 6 days per week and is assisted by her husband. Neema currently earns about 150 USD a month from her business. She is requesting a loan of 375 USD in order to expand her kuku business and buy a cow for milk. In the future, she plans to increase the quantity and the range of her business. Neema thanks you for your support!

SELFINA has taken a lead role as a pioneer of micro-credit through micro-leasing in Tanzania. The organization is engaged in the economic empowerment of women and uses the provision of a leasing and leaseback microfinance facility. Customs and traditions in Tanzania make it difficult for women to own land and assets; thus they are deemed non-creditworthy by financial institutions. This leads to poor access to basic needs and services for women with low incomes. One of the primary advantages of micro-leasing is that it allows clients to use the equipment as collateral for future loans with SELFINA, enabling them to borrow larger sums in the future.

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