April 2014 - Stories of Women Entrepreneurs who have inspired us

 Given below are stories of three women entrepreneurs who received business training and loans in September 2013, their businesses are doing well and they have taken the first steps towards self-reliance.

Jane (not her real name): is a widow taking care of eight children (five her own and three children from her late brother). The three children had never been to school as they lost their mom to HIV/AIDS in 2012 and their dad a year later. Jane took in the orphaned children as she was their closest relative, but she had no means to support her family. In 2013, Jane received business training and a small loan to start a business selling grocery items like chips and detergent. With earnings from her business she has been able to pay for school expenses for all eight children. Jane has understood the importance of keeping children in school and is planning to expand her business so that she can continue to provide for the children and keep them in school.

Mary (not her real name) takes care of five children of her own and two nephews orphaned due to HIV/AIDS. Her husband was not in favor of caring for her nephews but she took them in to her home as she is their closest relative. Her nephews had missed school for more than a year due to the loss of their parents. Mary started a business with the loan capital received and her business did well. With earnings from her restaurant business, she saved enough to pay for school expenses and her nephews are now in school since January 2014. Mary continues to work hard so that she can expand her business and increase her earnings and savings.

Gloria (name changed) is married with six children. It was difficult for her to care for her family as her husband does not have a full time job. Gloria wanted to help support the family, but did not have funds to start a business. She received business training and loan to start a small business selling charcoal. She buys charcoal in bulk, repackages and sells smaller packages of charcoal. Since her business did well she was able to purchase building supplies to extend her home. Her plan is to work hard, expand her business so that she add another room to her home for her own/renting purposes.