In 2018, generous donors helped provide new loans, business training, refresher training, and on-site business mentoring to 400 women entrepreneurs in Zambia. These program activities resulted in a huge and sustained impact on hundreds of vulnerable women and children in a resource poor community in Lusaka, Zambia.
A lot of Good Things Happened in 2018
We are thrilled that in 2018, hundreds of loan recipients such as Charity and Betsy (see pictures), were on the path to self-reliance with the success of their businesses and with improved financial literacy. Here are some heartwarming numbers from the field:
- 360 out of 400 women are on track with repayments.
- 212 women have expanded their businesses and/or diversified their product line by adding higher value items such as soft drinks, meat etc.
- The average capital growth was 15-20%.
- 352 women are saving a small amount every week. Out of these 154 are saving via mobile banking/bank accounts. Our loan recipients prefer mobile banking due to its convenience, and zero fess as compared to commercial banks that charge a fee for operating a bank account.
- Earnings from businesses helped pay for school expenses or vocational training for 2125 children.
- 310 women invested in land or cement blocks that can be used to extend their homes or rented a bigger shop for their business. Many women moved from selling by the roadside to selling from a shop.
- 110 women purchased large household items such as stoves, freezers, TV’s, furniture; 321 women purchased small household items such as pots, pans, radios.
- The diet and health of all 400 families (approximately 2800 family members) improved.
- Overall, most loan recipients learn how to run a business and have gathered enough capital to continue running their business in a relatively short (about 10-18 months) span of time. Second, with better knowledge about HIV, families are having more open discussions that leads to a reduction in stigma and in prevention of HIV. In addition, loan recipients are role models for others and enjoy a higher status in the community.
Plan for 2019
- Provide new loans and business training to 50 women in 2019.
- Provide business training and loans to 200-250 new women to replace women who graduate.
- Assess the impact of the new internship module added to the business training modules.
- Provide refresher training to about 200 women after they complete the second loan cycle.
- Provide business mentoring training to 400 women.
- Encourage club members of the volunteer mentoring club to mentor an additional 20-25 women in 2019.
- Track the 400 active businesses intensively so they continue to operate in the community even after the women graduate.
- Track businesses run by graduates to learn from past experiences.
- Thanks for giving hundreds of vulnerable women an opportunity to become successful entrepreneurs.