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.
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