Felicitus Mmboge is one of the millions of Opportunity women clients who has used a small loan to seize a big opportunity, and achieve great change in her life, her family and her community.
Twenty years ago, at the age of 22, Felicitus left her struggling village in Western Kenya and took a job as a maid in Nairobi so she could send money back to her family. Each week, she put a little money aside until she had enough to buy a few beauty products to sell in the street. When her employer passed away, she received severance pay, which enabled her to rent a shop and start her own beauty product business. Soon thereafter, robbers broke in and stole everything. Luckily, she had money in her M-PESA account on her mobile phone so she could start her business again.
In 2010, Opportunity invested in Felicitus with a loan of $290 to buy stock for her shop. With your help, a second loan of $600 empowered her to offer more products and to purchase hens for a secondary income stream. Her husband works as a gardener and carpenter, but most of the family’s income is from her businesses.
Felicitus uses her cell phone as a bank, which saves her time and money on travel. She transfers money, pays for goods, accepts payments, and even receives and repays her Opportunity loans — all while still attending to her shop. “Because I can also save money on my phone, it means I don’t have as much cash in my house or business, so I’m not worried about having it stolen.”
With her increased earnings, Felicitus is able to pay school fees for her three children and an orphaned niece. “I am determined that all of my children get a good education,” she says. “I feel very blessed that I have been able to set up my own business.”
She adds, “I want to become a distributor to other beauty shops, and I feel this is now possible with Opportunity and the guidance of my loan officer, Annie Wanjero."
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