Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia

 
$20,256
$9,744
Raised
Remaining
Oct 12, 2013

New Loans Provided to Eighty Women Entrepreneurs impacted by HIV/AIDS in Zambia

As a result of the generosity of donors such as yourself, we were able to provide new loans to 80 women entrepreneurs last month. These women completed business training in early September and started 80 new businesses. The businesses chosen by the women are quite diverse and range from groceries (mealie meal - a Zambian staple, cooking oil, rice, sugar, eggs, fruits, vegetables, and beans), to dressed chicken, dried fish, charcoal, baby blankets, books, and a salon etc. Many of the businesses such as charcoal, rice, beans and sugar involve the women buying in bulk, repackaging the item in smaller quantities and reselling. Most women (about 50%) have started tiny grocery stores located close to their homes. About 20% of the women sell used clothes and shoes. These ladies travel by bus to the City Market in Lusaka, purchase the used clothing and shoes and resell these at a better price in their community.

One of the ladies, Edith Makoni owned a hair dryer machine, so she opened a hair salon by renting space in the marketplace and purchasing supplies and materials like combs and cosmetics, needed to run her business. All of these businesses add value for the community members as they are located within walking distance from their homes and the community is able to purchase smaller and more affordable quantities.

Loans provided to these women will go a long way in helping them provide for their families and take the first steps towards self-reliance. At this time, 70% of the women are single or widowed and 50% are dependent on their husband or relatives for household expenses. On average each woman cares for 5 or more people at home - our goal is to help these women learn how to run a business so they can pay for school expenses and keep their children in school.

We will be tracking these businesses to study how they evolve as the women progress from their first loan to their second and third loan cycles. Our hope is that as the women move to through their loan cycles, they are able to increase the number and variety of items, add higher value items, increase the store size or move to a better location, and/or have a better store design and display.

Thanks for your support. 

Links:

Jul 28, 2013

Meet our Heroes: Stories of Two Successful Women Entrepreneurs

Power of Love’s (POL) micro loans program empowers women impacted by HIV/AIDS by providing them with business training, a small loan, and business advice and monitoring over the course of the loan period. Our program is specifically designed for women caring for the HIV-infected and is one of the few loan programs that works with women infected or impacted by HIV/AIDS.

Meet our Heroes:
Dorothy cares for nine children - four children of her own and five orphans. Her business of selling vegetables was not doing well due to several similar vendors in her area. Dorothy wanted to start a new business but needed capital of at least $120-150. She enrolled in Power of Love's micro loans program and received business training and a loan to start a new business. Her new business (soap, oil, detergent, eggs, toiletries) is doing well and with earnings from her business she has been able to pay for school expenses for two children who were not in school due to lack of funds. Dorothy plans on working hard and use the skills she learnt during business training to take her business forward. At present, Dorothy is happy that her business is doing well; her children are eating better, and are in school. She has become a mentor to other women in the community and encourages them to take charge of their own lives.

Jane is a widow caring for four children of her own and three children from her late brother. Both her husband and brother died the same year leaving her with no means to care for her family. Jane enrolled in our micro loans program, received business training and a loan and started selling fruits. At present Jane is on her third loan cycle and her business is doing well. She has expanded her assortment of goods to include eggs, cooking oil, and other types of groceries. She is very happy that she is able to take care of her family with earnings from her business. Jane's plan for the future is to keep all the children in her care in school and make their living arrangement more comfortable by extending her late brother's one room house. She is confident that she can achieve her goals by working hard and saving for her future.

Need For Funds: At this time we are raising funds to provide an additional 100 new loans to women entrepreneurs like Dorothy and Jane in August 2013. This will bring the total number of women in our program to 250. Please donate generously to help these women take better care of their families, keep their children in school and take the first steps towards self-reliance.

Conclusion: Micro loans successfully enable women to engage in self-employment projects and set them on the road to self-reliance. These loans help a poor household meet basic needs and protect against unexpected financial expenses. For most women there is a dramatic improvement in their standard of living and they may graduate out of poverty. For all involved there is perceived improvement in gender equality, improved economic welfare, and a sense of well-being and self-empowerment. We are proud to report that all of the outcomes of this project continue to be significant, sustainable and permanent. 

Links:

Jun 15, 2013

Our Women Entrepreneurs: An Update on Their Businesses

Our Women Entrepreneurs: An Update on Their Businesses 

Father's Day is Sunday, June 16. This Father's Day give a gift of empowerment to a family in Zambia.

Power of Love’s (POL) micro loans program empowers women impacted by HIV/AIDS by providing them with
business training, a small loan, and business advice and monitoring over the course of the loan period. Since every woman in our program is either infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS, fewer than 5% have a bank account and as a result, microfinance organizations typically do not provide loans to them. Our program is specifically designed for women caring for the HIV-infected and is one of the few loan programs that works with women infected or impacted by HIV/AIDS.

Businesses started with these loans are diverse and range from selling bananas along the roadside to brick-and-mortar stores selling cell phone chargers and accessories. Many women distribute fish to local restaurants, fry donut-like snacks for stores, or make their own floor wax. Additional businesses include: Groceries (mille meal, rice, sugar, cooking oil, soap, vegetables, dried fish, dressed chicken, popcorn), used goods (clothes, shoes, handbags), hair salon/barber shop, electrical fittings, and knitted sweaters. On average, a loan enables a family of 7-8 people to eat better and for the children to attend school. In addition, about two-thirds of the women have the sole responsibility for caring for everyone in their household as they are either widowed or single.

Impact of the Loans Program: With businesses started with the help of the loans and earnings from their businesses, most women are able to feed, clothe and educate their families. Repayment rates are around 90-92%; extraordinary by any measure, but especially so given the harsh circumstances the women face. To date, this program has provided 475 loans to women impacted by HIV/AIDS in Zambia and has improved the lives of over 4000 people in the community of Matero in Lusaka, Zambia.

At this time we have 170 women running successful to moderately successful businesses. As a result of earnings from these businesses more than 100 children have been able to go back to school as their moms/grandmothers are able to pay for school expenses. Further, as the women move on to their second and third loan cycles, they graduate from selling lower value goods like fruit and vegetables or grocery items to higher value items like used clothing, blankets, school jerseys/uniforms, toiletries, shoes. Out of the 170 women, 153 women are on track with their repayments as their businesses are doing well and many of them have increased their capital and started saving bank accounts. At this time, the remaining 17 businesses are not doing well and we are advising the women on how to turn around their business and tracking each business closely.     

Need For Funds: At this time we are raising funds to provide an additional 100 new loans to women entrepreneurs in September 2013. This will bring the total number of women in our program to 270. Please donate generously to help these women take better care of their families, keep their children in school and take the first steps towards self-reliance.  

Conclusion: Micro loans successfully enable women to engage in self-employment projects and set them on the road to self-reliance. These loans help a poor household meet basic needs and protect against unexpected financial expenses. For most women there is a dramatic improvement in their standard of living and they may graduate out of poverty. For all involved there is perceived improvement in gender equality, improved economic welfare, and a sense of well-being and self-empowerment. We are proud to report that all of the outcomes of this project continue to be significant, sustainable and permanent. 

Links:

May 11, 2013

Business Training and Loans Provided to 80 New Women Entrepreneurs in Zambia

Power of Love's micro loans program provides business training, small loans and business monitoring and advice to poor women entrepreneurs in Zambia.  Over the last eight years, our women entrepreneurs have built successful businesses that provide for their families, keep their children healthy, and in school. In addition, the women have started planning and saving for a better future for themselves and their families. Repayment rates in our program are in the range of 90% - extraordinary given the difficult circumstances of our loan grantees. We believe that these high repayment rates are the result of the business training provided prior to the loan. For more information on our micro loans program, please click here.

In April 2013, business training and loans were provided to 80 new women entrepreneurs. The women were identified and selected based on their willingness to learn to run a business and family circumstance. Eighty women participated in our four day business training program. The goal of the training is to equip the women with tools that will help them run a successful business so that they work towards self-reliance. This Mother's Day, give a gift of business training to a mom in Zambia so she can take care of her family and keep her children in school. A gift of $50 will provide business training to one mom entrepreneur in Zambia. To donate please click here.

Business Training Modules

Introduction: this part of the training is vital as it helps the women understand if they can be good borrowers. Most of the women have never been to school or had any formal training so even simple business concepts are new to them. All modules are supplemented with hands on exercises, and work sheets, real world examples and group discussions. This part of the training covers:  

  • What is business?
  • How to start or expand your own business?
  • How to raise money for your business?
  • How to make profit in your own business?
  • How to protect your own business

Market investigation - This is the second module and covers topics such as:

  • What  am I going to sell
  • Who will buy from me
  • What will be the location of my business
  • How am I going to sell my goods or services

Buying - In module 3, the following concepts are discussed:

  • Quality
  • Cost and Pricing
  • Basic line and other lines
  • Adding other merchandise lines
  • Places to buy from
  • Inventory size
  • Frequency of purchase of raw material/supplies/inventory

 Business Concepts - This module covers:

  • Sales
  • Profits
  • Price
  • Managing Money
  • Repayment Schedule

 Business Promotion - This module covers:

  • Learning about your product
  • Advertising your business
  • Store display and design
  • Learning about customer needs
  • Customer Service
  • Ethical business practices
  • Reasons for a business to not do well

Simple Business Plan - The training ends with the women making a simple business plan for their proposed business. In addition, one afternoon is devoted to a discussion on social issues, followed by Q and A. This encourages the women to share their views, and ask questions so that they can learn about a variety of issues (ranging from repayments, to prevention of HIV, and running the business if a family member/child is sick and needs care) that are important to them.

At the end of the training, the women are eager to start their own business and start making repayments with earnings from their businesses. The women understand the importance of making loan repayments on time as after completion of repayments they are eligible for a second loan, and subsequently a third and final loan.   

Conclusion

The business training provided to the loan grantees is popular with the participants and a critical factor that leads to high repayment rates.  

Links:

Mar 24, 2013

Stories of Successful Women Entrepreneurs in our Micro Loans Program

Power of Love's micro loans program provides business training, loans and business monitoring and advice to poor women entrepreneurs in Zambia. Over the last few years, our women entrepreneurs have built successful businesses even though each and every one of them is battling difficult circumstances to provide for their families and keep their children healthy, and in school. In addition, they have started planning and saving for a better future for themselves and their families. The women are now comfortable with planning and saving - ideas that were foreign to their culture just a few months back. In addition, our women entrepreneurs encourage others in the community to go in for voluntary testing and counseling (VCT) to reduce the spread of HIV infection, start businesses, and take charge of their own lives, becoming role models and mentors for other men and women in the community. This leads to substantive ripple effects in the community beyond the program participants themselves. For more information please click here.

Given below are stories of two women entrepreneurs who received loans from this program and are now on the road to self-reliance.

Monica: Monica is 32 years old with two of her own children and two children from her late brother. One of her dependents is HIV positive. Before, Monica joined our micro loans program she was dependent on food from the Church and could not afford to pay rent for her house leading to frequent moves.  Once she joined the micro loans program, she received business training and a small loan to start a business. Monica started a business selling vegetables and is now running a small drug store. At this time, she is able to pay for school fees and expenses for her children. Since, Monica has been paying her rent on time she has been living in the same place for over a year. In addition, she has been able to almost double her capital. Monica is happy that she was able to join Power of Love's micro loans program and is looking forward to a bright future.

Winnie: Winnie is a 42 years old widow. She has six children and two dependents and she was finding it difficult to care for a household with nine people. After she lost her husband, her children stopped going to school since she could not afford school fees, and could afford only one meal per day for her family. Winnie used to sell vegetable when her husband was alive but exhausted all her savings on her husband's illness.  One of our women entrepreneurs informed her about our loans program and subsequently Winnie was enrolled in our program. Winnie received business training and a loan to start a business and since then her life changed for the better. In addition, her son was enrolled in Power of Love's pediatric HIV/AIDS care program. She is now able to pay for school fees and school expenses and is able to take better care of her family. Winnie takes orders for clothes in Lusaka, travels to the Tanzania border, buys clothes and shoes there, comes back and sells them at home. Her business is doing well and she more than doubled her capital by the time she graduated out of our program. In the next few months, she plans diversify her business by traveling to S.Africa to purchase hardware to sell at home.

Winnie has promised to come back and act as a mentor to other women in this program to show her appreciation for what she has been able to achieve as a result of the training and loan she received from this program. 

Thanks again for supporting poor women entrepreneurs start and grow a business and take the first steps towards self-reliance. 

Links:

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Organization

Project Leader

Alka Subramanian

Founder/Director
San Diego, CA United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia