2 microentrepreneurs in developing world - what love about real cases is the opportunity to spot whose doing a great job in community that could be a great job in many more communities - tell us firstname.lastname@example.org where to browse catalogues of microentrepeneurs -these from wholefoods 1 2make one wonder what is stopping other global companies from using some of their promotional budgets to celbrate the wonderful jobs that being connected to the first net generation can linkin all over the world
2 microentrepreneurs in developing world - what love about real cases is the opportunity to spot whose doing a great job in community that could be a great job in many more communities - tell us email@example.com where to browse catalogues of microentrepeneurs -these from wholefoods 1 2 make one wonder what is stopping other global companies from using some of their promotional budgets to celbrate the wonderful jobs that being connected to the first net generation can linkin all over the world
Sareta is a microcredit is small loans - usually less than $300 in the developi...
client of South Pacific Business Development, Whole Planet Foundation's partner in Samoa. Her first loan of $327 USD was 4 years ago. Her current loan is $1,091 USD and she used it to purchase handicrafts and jewelry made in surrounding villages to sell them at the local market. Roughly once a month she and the other vendors hear of the arrival of a cruise ship to the nearby port. This increased traffic greatly increases her income as she is able to sell her merchandise to visiting tourists.
Before Sareta had the opportunity to secure a microloan from SPBD she had very little income, estimated at about $22 USD a week. At that time she could only offer one tray of merchnadise for sale. Now she has three tables and she generates a profit of about $175 USD per week. Sareta is very proud of her business and has plans one day to open her own shop.
Lourdes, Microcredit Client of Fundacion Paraguaya (Paraguay)
Lourdes is a young tradeswoman who runs her own business, a small general store.
Lourdes is the reflection of many of the women in Paraguay who wiped extreme poverty off
Lourdes is a young tradeswoman who runs her own business, a small general store. She is 25 years old and lives in Mariano Roque Alonso, a district known for the largest agriculture and industry fair in Paraguay.
Lourdes is the reflection of many of the women in Paraguay who wiped extreme poverty off, and found in the “Committees of Women Entrepreneurs” (Fundacion Paraguaya’s village banking program) the best way to improve their income and life style.
“When I first started, my store had a plain scale with different metal weights, a couple of shelves, very few merchandise and an old fridge. Now I have a digital scale, a 400 litter freezer, two big fridges and a bigger quantity of merchandise”, the young entrepreneur says with profound satisfaction. The Fundacion Paraguaya, a local Paraguayan NGO, has more than 2,000 Committees of Women Entrepreneurs (village banking groups) across the country, comprising nearly 30,000 women whose average loans are of $80.
Lourdes, as the other members of the committee, gets microloans for investing in her small business, and training sessions in financial management, leadership, self-management and other skills.
“My first loan was of US$40, which I invested in merchandise for my store. I was so excited! It was the first time in my life I got access to credit. Before that, I always wanted to ask for a loan from a financial institution to fulfill my dream of owning a store”, Lourdes remembers.
Ramirez has all her goals clear in her head, she dreams with something new and saves up to get it. “Now that I got my dream of having my own little business, I dream with new things. My dream now is to have a bigger store with more merchandise and a small restaurant, where I could sell fast food and drinks. I’m thinking about dismantling this unstable wood construction, buy some new tables, get cable TV and make hamburgers and other kinds of fast food that you can’t get in my neighborhood.” “When I close my eyes I see my own house made of hard material, my cooler and a TV upstairs in a pedestal support. I also see my restaurant filled with people sitting around the table and I see myself serving them. Since I was young I always dreamed of having my own restaurant. I’m surrounded by people who support me to fulfill this dream.”
For Lourdes, the key is to save money to fulfill her dreams and to help people who might need it. Besides, she has developed her own savings method through the years so that she can reach her goals. “I always save with a goal in mind. I’ve been saving the earnings from my sales for 6 months now, in a US$3 dollar-a-day piggy bank, for my son’s birthday. And I keep a daily record in my store so I know how much money I need to have in the register at the end of every day”, she explains. “I also plan on buying a freezer to cool drinks as a goal. And I’m going to make it, just as I could buy and pay for my other freezer simply with my daily ice selling profit. While today Lourdes enjoys her best income level so far and a significantly improved life style, it wasn’t always like this.
Her father died when she was only 12 years old. Soon after that she decided, as many young women in the rural areas, to head out for the capital city to work as a housemaid.
She got pregnant at age 19 and with that she took on a whole new set of responsibilities. “I realized I was pregnant when I was in my fourth month. I almost died. I got so depressed because I was going to be a single mom.”
However, as she explains, her situation began to change when she found the Committee of Entrepreneurial Women. This gave her a support system and access to credit to invest in her own business, the small general store, which after three years keeps on growing and giving her hope for a better future.
Thusitha, Microcredit Client of BRAC (Sri Lanka)
Thusitha is a brilliant, talented woman from Sri Lanka. She’s a tailor, designer, painter, etc. It is amazing how skilled she is. She is popular in her community for making wedding dresses. BRAC Sri Lanka currently serves 100% women clients and Whole Planet Foundation will provide them with a $500,000 grant over the next 3 years, with a goal of reaching 2,644 new Microentrepreneur">borrowers.
Khem lives with her spouse and two children aged 6 and 8 in the in the Ilam district of the eastern highlands of Nepal where Whole Foods Market
sources tea. Khem used to pick tea leaves in the large tea farms surrounding the hills of her local and sell the fresh picked leaf at a fixed rate to the local tea factories. This work was seasonal, labor intensive and demanding. With the combined efforts of her family, the household gained an income averaging 20,000Rp ($250/£155) per month during tea harvest time. One year ago, Khem and her husband decided to start their own processing tea plant from their home. They had observed the strong demand for hand rolled organic tea. The two combined all their resources to invest in the necessary equipment. Khem had previously received a loan for 20,000rp ($250) from Nirdhan Bank to invest in ginger farming during the off season from harvesting the tea. She used her second loan of 40,000rp ($500/£310) to contribute to the start up business. After a year’s time, a tremendous amount of energy and perseverance the company is doing well. Khem employees and manages 10 employees who help pick, roll, weather, dry, grade and package the tea. Khem and her husband now can focus more on supervision, marketing and shipping out orders. They offer 5 grades of tea. They now are exporting their tea to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, and Eastern India through brokers. The goal is to gain an organic certificate, adding extra value to their tea, and begin to export the tea directly themselves. The company has just recently begun to break even and although the first year has been challenging Khem is optimistic about the future of their small tea processing operations.
Kalpana, Microcredit Client of Mery Corps (Nepal)
Microcredit client Kalpana, a seasonal vegetable farmer from Bhirgaun, Dhankuta in Nepal, sells her vegetables in the local market. Whole Planet Foundation partners with Nirdhan Utthan Bank and Mercy Corps in Nepal where Whole Foods Market sources tea. Our goal in supporting this community with a $312,000 grant is to reach 10,000 farmers like Kalpana who do not have access to traditional financial systems.
Read more about this entrepreneur
Many Whole Foods Market team members are from the Dominican Republic, and requested us to fund a microlending project there. Whole Planet Foundation is partnering with ADOPEM in the Dominican Republic where Whole Foods Market sources cacao. Microcredit client Juana runs a "colmado", a corner store and has taken a loan of DRP20,000 ($555). She likes the ADOPEM program because of the credit terms which are less expensive than another organization she has borrowed from, but feels she has outgrown the program and contemplates not returning.
Felicienne, Microcredit client of One Acre Fund (Rwanda)
Felicienne is a farmer who grows climbing beans with the help of One Acre Fund
in Rwanda. The name of her farmer group is Twishyirehamwe, which means "Let's be together" in Kinyarwanda. One Acre Fund serves subsistence farmers, who make up 75 percent of the world’s poor. It provides farmers with a “market bundle” of services—including formation of the group, seed and fertilizer, and education—and are repaid for those services. In 2011 One Acre Fund served over 70,000 farm families impacting over 350,000 people living in those families. Founded only five years ago, One Acre Fund has been recognized by prestigious early-stage grantmakers such as the Echoing Green, Draper Richards and Skoll Foundations. In 2010 and 2011, One Acre Fund won the FT/IFC Sustainable Finance Award for Achievement in Basic Needs Financing.
Veronica, Microcredit Client of Microloan Foundation (Malawi)
It is estimated that just 8% of Malawians connected to a national grid and even that becoming increasingly unreliable of late so solar energy is extremely important. Imagine being totally constrained by nature for the ability to read or to undertake certain critical tasks, just because it is after 6pm? This is the reality for many women and their families in Africa, with their only lighting up until now being from dangerous and expensive kerosene lamps and candles. Enter clean, safe and reliable solar energy. MicroLoan trains and mentors women so they can successfully market and service solar energy products (specifically designed for remote rural settings), as well as manage the stock effectively. Veronica, pictured, set up her solar business as her tea shop was failing to generate sufficient income. She is making a huge amount of additional money by renting out fully charged LED lamps each evening to members of the public and charging people’s mobile phones. Veronica has pre-orders for this service for the next month and a local school already wants to purchase her entire next stock of solar packs. Business for her is certainly booming. Photo courtesy of MicroLoan Foundation.
Yim, Microcredit Client of Chamroeun (Cambodia)
YIM is a microcredit client of Chamroeun in the Phnom Penh region of Cambodia. She invested her loan and now sells vegetables in the local market.
Chamroeun has 18,544 active clients and a repayment rate of 99%. Whole Planet Foundation hopes to reach 6,042 new clients over the next 3 years with a $500,000 interest free loan.
Mariana, Microcredit Client of Grameen America (United States)
Whole Planet Foundation partners with Grameen America in New York, Omaha and Indianapolis where WFM sources apples, meats and dairy and local produce, respecitvely. Whole Planet Foundation's goal is to grow with Grameen America as they expand their projects in the U.S., with future projects including Detroit, San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston and Washington, D.C. To learn more about Grameen America and their work, visit their website
and check out the film To Catch A Dollar
Kiymet, Microcredit Client of TGMP (Turkey)
Kiymet joined Turkish Grameen Microcredit Program (TGMP) on November 6, 2008. The date of her first loan was November 13, 2008 in the amount of 700,000 TL ($USD). She has repaid that and taken out a second loan in the amount of 1.000,000 TL ($USD) and is using it for sheep raising. Whole Planet Foundation partners with TGMP in Turkey where Whole Foods Market sources spices including cumin and bay leaves. Our goal in supporting this community with a grant of $383,175 is to start a new microlending branch to reach 1,510 clients, 100% women. Photo courtesy of Diane Bondareff.
Wilman, Microcredit Client of Fodemi (Ecuador)
Wilman is a young microcredit client in Ecuador who is building his business and improving his life with the help of microloans. He even helps build his community by making and selling the bricks that are used to construct many local houses.
Whole Planet Foundation partners with FODEMI in the Otavalo and Latacunga regions of Ecuador where Whole Foods Market sources Whole Trade Guarantee Flowers. With a $300,000 interest free loan, the foundtaion hopes to reach 1,000 new clients over 2 years. Photo courtesy of Megan Bond Hinrichsen.
Yvesrose, a Microcredit Client of Fonkoze (Haiti)
Yvesrose has a grocery business and is the head of her borrower group.
She says microcredit works because of 2 rocks, the credit officer (on the left) and the center chief (her).
Her loan enabled her to restore her grocery business (on left) which was wiped out by the hurricane of 2008.
To expand on her success she teaches friends the grocery business so that they can mind the store for her.
Yvesrose is proud of her successful grocery business which has helped her to start another business selling sell goat meat.
Regina, Microcredit Client of Grameen Ghana (Ghana)Regina, a client of Grameen Ghana
Cooking plantains for her specialty- Red Red
Her business has expanded through access to capital to invest in food to cook.
Her Red Red business uses a lot of cooked plantains
Red Red is blackeyed peas and tomatoes served with plantains
Including Red Red
"My name is Regina. I am a member of the “Wuni Songmi ti” credit group located in Zogbeli, a suburb of Tamale in Northern Ghana. I started the “red red” business 10 years ago with an initial amount of GHC 50.00 which I obtained from my husband. I could only buy 3 bunches of plantain and make an average sale of GHC 10 ($6.60) a day. The profit in the business was so small (GHC 2 or $1.32) that it couldn’t sustain my family. I could only use the money to buy food for my children.
There were so many challenges to the growth of my business. I couldn’t buy plenty plantain from the market women because my capital was very small. Also, since the plantain came only occasionally, I always finished selling the few that I could buy and kept waiting until the market women returned from the South with fresh plantain. This affected the growth of my business and the profit I made. This situation continued until I met Grameen Ghana last year.
I took an initial loan of $100. After paying on time, I requested for $300 in the second cycle. With the loan and business education provided by Grameen Ghana, my daily sales have increased and the profit from my “red red” business has also increased.
With increased capital, I have added a new product called plantain chips. This is also made from plantain but unlike “red red” the chips are fried dry and can be stored for long periods. I supply these chips to shops and offices all over the Tamale metropolis.
The support received from Grameen Ghana under WPF support has transformed my live in various aspects. I am now highly respected by my husband because I contribute to the family budget. I am now able to pay the school fees and hospital bills of my children as well as buy clothing for myself and my children. I no longer rent equipment for my business as I have been able to buy all the necessary equipment
While thanking you so much for your support, I want to encourage you to continue to expand your support to help change the lives of many other poor women in my area. I also want to say that the change you have brought into my life will be even greater when you increase my loan size to enable me increase my business to meet the growing customer needs."
Abebecha, A Microcredit Client of OCSSCO (Ethiopia)
Business: Animal fattening
Abebecha uses her loan funds to purchase young cows (one at a time) which she raises to maturity and sells at a profit. This activity is somewhat unique to this area of Ethiopia and differs from typical livestock raising in that the cow actually lives in the house with the family while it grows rather than having a separate pen or roaming in a field. Abebecha is in a Group Lending">solidarity group called Derartu which means flower in the local language.
Itha, Microcredit Client of Komida (Indonesia)
Itah lives with her spouse and son in the neighborhood in Banda Ache on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. Just around the corner live her mother Saudah, and her aunt Siti Atah as well as her other three brothers and sisters and their families. The three women have come together to expand the family business; selling “Karah” a traditional cookie of the Ache province - a very popular dessert food among youth and children.
Itah was the first in her immediate family to attend University and upon graduating with a degree in Administration began working as a secretary at a popular newspaper agency. Itah’s mother Saudah, like her mother, had no formal education. What she did have was a simple family recipe for “Karah”, a fried cookie of sort, with its main ingredients including rice, sugar, oil and spices. After getting married and having their first child, Itah begin pondering how she could start something on her own in order to gain greater flexibility in her demanding daily schedule. Itah needed more time to maintain her newly established family; she wanted to set her own agenda and start her own business. Itah decided to quit her job as a secretary and join her mother and her aunt with the “Karah” business. According to Itah, this was not looked upon as a step back, but as a step forward as Itaha’s plan was to develop and expand the family business.
In 2009, after hearing about microcredit and the opportunity to access financial services in her village, she convinced her mother and aunt to join her in applying for a loan. All three women joined microfinance groups within their neighborhood and received first time loans of IDR 2,000,000 (USD ~$230) . The capital went directly to purchasing ingredients in bulk at a lower cost and packaging materials in order to extend the outreach of their product. Without any problem, Itah was able to pay back her first loan. Itah, as well as her mother and her aunt have now taken out their third loan of IDR 3,000,000(USD ~$350). Utilizing Itah’s administration education and her natural entrepreneur spirit, with the extra capital investment in the business, earning and profit continue to increase dramatically.
Before the access to capital, maximum output was around 100 cookies (sold at IDR 1,000) per day. Within three years they have nearly doubled that to 200 cookies sold per day. Not only is Itah making more money than she was as a secretary but now she has more time to spend with her family. Apart from this, Itah also gained social recognition in her neighborhood. She was selected as the center president of Center #41, and according to her “is responsible for protecting the program and supporting her fellow entrepreneurs when needed to ensure the continued success of her Center”. Itah has a strong zeal to expand the business further. Her next plan is to design a personal trademark for the family recipe and begin to distribute the product wholesale in order to cut out the middle man; lowing costs and increasing profit.
Boonlam, Microcredit Client of Thailand
Whole Planet Foundation provides funding to Small Enterprise Development in the Surin region of northeastern Thailand where Whole Foods Market sources rice through Alter Eco. We had the pleasure of meeting and cooking noodles with this client, whose noodles would go perfectly with Microcredit client inspired Green Curry Chicken with Rice Noodles
Faiza, A Microcredit Client of BRAC Pakistan (Pakistan)
Faiza lives in Multan, Pakistan where the average loan size is $175. Like the millions of others in Pakistan, she and her family abandoned her business (a grocery store) to evacuate to a safer location to escape the 2010 floods, the worst flooding in 80 years. 21 million Pakistanis were injured or displaced. When Faiza returned in November, she found her store destroyed and had to "start from zero." With a new microloan funded by on-lending capital support from Whole Planet Foundation to microfinance institution
BRAC Pakistan, she was able to reopen her store with fresh new inventory.
K.P., A Microcredit Client of BRAC Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka)
Forty-five minutes outside of Sri Lanka’s capitol city Colombo, this microcredit client of Whole Planet Foundation partner BRAC LKA started a shop selling motorcycle parts. She smartly invites a mechanic to repair motorbikes there so that all parts used are from her shop.
Read more about this entrepreneur
Nagamma is a microcredit client in Kerala, India, where Whole Foods Market sources cashews. She is 55 years old and on her second loan. Her first loan of $100 was to start a tea shop and her second loan of $160 is to raise goats and chickens. Now her husband is working in the tea shop but her son is still a day laborer. Nagamma’s hope is to see her family in better condition in the future. She heard about the opportunities of microcredit from other members in her village.
Esodada, A Microcredit Client of Nirdhan Utthan Bank (Nepal)
Esodada is a microcredit client of WPF partner Nirdhan Bank in the Eastern Highlands of Nepal, where Whole Foods Market sources tea. Her business is a small corner store, and here she is cooking a local traditional Nepalese dish.
Sabina was born an entrepreneur. After emigrating from Mexico in 1993, Sabina began working full-time in a factory to support herself and her family. To make ends meet, she started selling flowers on the street. Sabina’s friend told her about Grameen America two years ago, and since then Sabina has been a very dedicated Microentrepreneur">borrower
. Sabina put her first loan of $1,500 towards plants and flowers to grow her small inventory. Four loans later, Sabina had saved enough money to rent out her own storefront in Queens! Sabina recently took out her 5th loan for $3,500 which she used to purchase a large refrigerator for her flowers. Because the fridge was a bit more expensive than the loan she was eligible for, she used her money from her savings—set up by Grameen America—to supplement the loan for the purchase of the fridge. With her official storefront and refrigerator, Sabina now supplies flowers for weddings, birthdays, and Quinceañeras. Sabina recognizes that to grow her business even larger, she will need to expand past her own community in Queens. Sabina’s dream is to open a second flower shop in Westchester, NY where she knows there is a strong demand and limited supply of quality flowers. Opportunity is screaming her name! Sabina is incredibly proud of her business, as she says, “in this life, anything is possible with hard work and perseverance”.
Vanaja, A Microcredit Client of Microcredit Initiative of Grameen (India)
Vanaja is a client of WPF partner Microcredit Initiative of Grameen in Kerala, India where Whole Foods Market sources cashews. She is on her fourth loan for her weaving business. Her first loan was $120, her second was $180 and she used them for purchasing the thread needed for weaving. Her next two loans were larger and she invested them in her loom. Her husband assists her in weaving and her son aged 32 is a day laborer. Vanaja and her family hope her weaving business continues to prosper now that they have their own loom.
Euceria, A Microcredit Client of Adelante Foundation (Honduras)
Euceria Bernandez runs a bread-making business in the Caribbean coastal village of Guadalupe, Honduras. She is a client of Fundación Adelante, a Whole Planet Foundation partner that offers small loans to poor working women so that they can invest in their own businesses. Euceria makes pan de coco (coconut bread) and pan dulce (sweet bread), both staples of the regional diet. She has invested her first loan of 1,500 Lempiras ($79) in ingredients for cooking including flour, lard and salt. Euceria prepares the dough in her kitchen and cooks the bread over a fire pit outside of her home, using recipes and techniques she learned from her mother who was also a bread-maker. She puts the warm rolls in a basket and walks through the streets of her community, selling her bread to hungry neighbors. As her business grows, Euceria plans to expand her small kitchen so that she will have more space for cooking. While working, she also cares for her four grandchildren while their mother works in a nearby village. The ability to work from home is an advantage of microcredit, allowing women to earn an income while caring for young children. The importance of Euceria’s buusiness to the livelihood of her family is evidenced in her simple statement, “La ganancia es el pan de cada día,”—“My salary is our daily bread.”
Fatou, A Microcredit Client of CAURIE (Senegal
Lending only to women, CAURIE Microfinance has nearly 40,0000 clients. WPF’s goal in supporting them is to reach an additional 3,000 clients like Fatou who sells fish in the local marketplace. Kaolack sits at a crossroads between Gambia and the roads to Mali and Mauritania making it a prime location for small trade and commerce. Many women are becoming leaders in regional import and export of goods from neighboring areas thanks to access to microcredit.
Salome, A Microcredit Client of MicroLoan Foundation (Malawi)
Salome, left, is a microcredit client of MicroLoan Foundation in Malawi. She is a 32 year old mother of six children, four of which are hers and four of which are AIDs orphans she’s adopted. She lives in a one room hut in a rural area, many miles from the nearest town. In the past Salome struggled to feed, clothe and care for her children, and herself. With her microcredit loan her yield per acre has quadrupled, she has been able to purchase fundamental farming tools, she can afford to send all six children to secondary school and she is equipped with essential farming and business skills. There was no irrigation system in the area and Salome found maintaining a farming business near impossible. Salome was an ideal candidate for the MicroLoan’s agricultural program (part of the charity’s “MicroVentures” division). MicroLoan Foundation’s specialist agricultural loan managers and mentors introduced Salome to new ideas, such as planting maize seeds 25cm apart in order to ensure the crops do not crowd each other out, and helped her community to build a treadle pump, providing the area with fresh water and irrigation. The initial loan money she received allowed her to purchase vital farming tools such as chemicals and fertilizers. Since these changes have been implemented, the yield from Salome’s land is now significantly higher. Her one acre now yields approximately £400 per year, roughly four times her previous income. Salome plans to repay her loan in one go rather than over a long period of time. From her profits Salome has been able to purchase livestock and furniture and her mentor has taught her that she can use the stalks and excess from her maize to feed her cattle. Salome still has aspirations for her business. She wants to buy a wheelbarrow and perhaps even an oxcart in the future and expects to expand her business with larger loans. Salome explains that: “It feels very important, to me, that the MicroVentures project is not simply about giving people money or setting up new businesses. It is about finding people who are working hard to feed their families and making their business more sustainable and more efficient and so helping to create affluent individuals who can in turn provide jobs and incomes for others in their communities. ““Look at me” she tells us, “I am happy and the children in my house are happy.” Her group Chigumokire is an irrigation group - all the clients’ primary business interests are in agriculture and working with WPF partner MicroLoan Foundation gives them the training, technical advice and financial services in order to become effective local producers and suppliers of agricultural produce. However, often in the rainy season, as well as working the land, the women sometimes use part of their loans to run a side business in a non-agricultural business to meet their everyday needs before harvest time. These often include such things are second hand clothes or local market trading in such things are household consumer goods. MicroLoan Foundation is strengthening its agricultural programs in Malawi in partnership with an international funder called FICA, which is helping clients to build relationships with national Malawian food retailers, along with local hotels and restaurants, so they can strengthen their place in the value chain. Such a market linkages program will be of huge benefit to those who can access it. MicroLoan Foundation hopes to scale it up in time when the model is right and we can take it from its relative infancy.
Vijayakumari, A Microcredit Client of Grameen Microcredit Initiative (India)
div class="target">Microcredit client Vijayakumari lives in the same village as Vanaja. She took her first loan for weaving of $120/£75 to purchase this floor loom. With her second loan of $178/£112 she purchased thread and other items needed for weaving. Before joining Microcredit Initiative of Grameen, Vijayakumari worked for another weaver on a daily wage basis. With her own loom she is starting to earn money. Her husband is a day laborer and they have a daughter aged 22, who helps her with weaving. Vijayakumari dreams of her daughter's marriage. To earn the money she and her husband must provide for the dowry, she plans to to set up one more loom with her next loan.
Microcredit client Remani lives with her husband in Kerala, India where Whole Foods Market sources cashews. Remani has recently entered the business of raising goats. Using her first loan of $140/£88, Remani was able to purchase one female adult goat and two younger goats. She plans to raise the younger two goats until they can be sold in approximately 4 months. Her hope is to sell each raised goat for ($120/£75). In the meantime, Remani has budgeted ($40/£25) as the cost of maintaining and raising each of the two young goats until they can be sold. She is supplementing this cost from curing rubber from the few rubber trees in her front yard and is able to receive ($4/£2.5) per kilo, which takes around 10 days to collect, from the local rubber processing factory. Remani is almost eligible to receive her second loan and is planning to purchase an adult male in order to start raising even more goats.
Wurihan, Microcredit Client of Chifeng Zhaowuda Women's Sustainable Development Association
Sustainable Development Association in China where Whole Foods Market sources flax borage oil. The picture was taken after she had just received her first time loan to be used to raise cows for diary production.
Leila operates a small corner store from which she sells everything from cell phone minutes to small checks. Through her business she is able to provide for her family but it has still been a struggle to create the life that they dreamed of. For Leila microcredit has meant the opportunity to make a hard situation a little easier. “I am hoping my business will be a success but I am not really sure. As I am getting old now, I will rely on my children to make it successful.”
Annonciata is a farmer in Karongi District, Rwanda and a client of WPF partner One Acre Fund. She is the facilitator of the Twishyirehamwe group, which means "join together" in Kinyarwanda. She joined One Acre Fund at the beginning of 2011, and planted maize and beans. She is 47 years old, and that season was the first time she had ever used fertilizer. She anticipates a good harvest, and was planning to save some bean seeds for planting the next season, keep some at home for food, and sell some of the harvest to invest in fertilizer for a larger amount of her land (she was not able to put all of her land under cultivation in the first season that she joined One Acre Fund).
Lucia is a microcredit client of Grameen America, WPF’s partner in the United States. Lucia, mother of three grown children , started a small business selling inexpensive beauty products 8 years ago while babysitting full-time. With her loan, she expanded her inventory to include perfume, cosmetics and shoes. Lucia’s dream is to sell handmade dresses in a store that also offers babysitting services.
Maria Elsa is a microcredit client of WPF partner Grameen Aval in Colombia. She has discovered a niche market of bicycle repair onsite where she also sells parts. WPF is supporting Grameen Aval with $500,000 to reach an additional 2,500 clients in the Suba Region.
Roselene is a microcredit client of WPF partner Fonkoze in Haiti where Whole Foods Market sources mangoes. Roselene is 57 years old with 9 children ranging from 12 to 35, and a total of 10 grandchildren. Roselene was a victim of the hurricanes and storms that ravaged Haiti in 2008, and with the help of Fonkoze, was able to restart her business and rebuild her life. In the 2010 earthquake, Roselene again lost everything. “I had some things at my home, and I have my Fonkoze bank account. I am starting again with the little merchandize I have left.” She lives in the tent city, where she has restarted her business again with the assistance of Fonkoze. “My Fonkoze credit agent came to see me a couple of days after the quake, I knew he had lost his home as well, but he was there reassuring me that we will make it.” That, she said is also a big reason she will not give up. Roselene will put her business and life back in place. She finds strength because she knows she is a “member of a group of women who have been given second chances, but with Fonkoze, we keep getting these chances whenever we think all is lost.”
Astou is a married woman and mother with 5 children (3 boys and 2 daughters), she manages a restaurant in her neighborhood situated in the heart of Ndoffane. She typically prepares Ndambé (a meal of beans and tomato sauce) for lunch, and ragout (a vegetable and meat stew) or touffé (chicken cooked in a sauce of onions for dinner)- and sometimes Thieboudienne (Senegalese national dish of fish filled with local spices and slow cooked in vegetables and a tomato sauce) for lunch as well (rice is the staple starch/accompaniment in Senegal). She also offers hot drinks like coffee and tea. Her clientele is made up of neighbors and travelers passing through Ndoffane, and also largely those who come to the weekly market (known as the “Louma”) in Ndoffane.
Astou started with CAURIE microfinance the 29th December 2010 with a first loan of 50,000 CFA (about $100) with a duration of 6 months and is currently managing a second loan of the same size.
Ayse (pronounced Aisha) took her $500 loan with TGMP and opened a small food stall serving hot lunches of standard Turkish meals to workers in Denizli town.
Like her fellow group members borrowing from TGMP, Ayse has worked hard with her loan and set-up a small business that she manages with a friend and the occasional help of her two young daughters. Preparing traditional soups and stews that I learned are staples in this community, Ayse has managed to create an income that also lets her as a single mother watch her children when they are home from school.
Being able to run home-based businesses or businesses near the home was one of the most common benefits clients mentioned when talking about the new micro-credit services offered by TGMP. In an industrial town like Denizli often the only other option is factory work which requires paying for child care and transport to work.