POL Posts: Blogs, Reports & Updates
November 18, 2020

Business Training and New Loans Provided to First Time Entrepreneurs

With your support, this project continues to benefit more than 3,500 vulnerable women and their families in Zambia. In 2020, new loans, business training, and education was provided to more than 500 vulnerable women impacted by HIV. In addition, the women received education on COVID prevention, and PPE (masks, hand sanitizers, soap). 

Program activities: Last month, 143 women received business training and loans to start businesses. The training is participative, hands on, and in the local language as most women have never been to school and many do not know how to read or write. Training (including PPE) was provided is a safe manner to prevent the spread of COVID. After completion of training, the women are provided with loans to start businesses. These newly minted entrepreneurs are now applying the business principles learned during training. Each woman will receive a total of three consecutive loans, and ongoing business mentoring. Earnings from these businesses help the women pay for food, rent, medicines and school.

Program Impact: As the women are supported through the three loan cycles, there is an improvement in the health of families, more than 800 children are attending school, and the women start saving and building assets. With a regular source of income and improved health for the whole family, the women feel empowered and families are more financially sustainable. The impact of program activities is illustrated by stories of two women given below. Both women received business training and loans last year and are on track with loan repayments. Earnings from their businesses help pay for food, medicines, rent and school. Also, both women are more financially literate and are building assets. 

Patty (not her real name) is the sole caregiver for five children and three orphaned nieces. Her household consists of 10 members and they live in a three-room home. She was facing considerable challenges in taking care of her family as two of her nieces are HIV+ and her husband works part time. Before enrolling in our micro loans program last year, she was operating a fruit stand. After receiving business training and her first loan, Patty added eggs, soya, peanuts, kapenta (dried fish), and other grocery items to her store. Her business is doing well, and she is on track with repayments. Earnings from her business help pay for food, rent, medicines, and school expenses.

Katie (name changed) is the sole caregiver for her five children, and three orphaned nieces/nephews. She is an independent woman and refused support from her relatives. Her husband left a sewing machine when he died a few years back. She is a skilled seamstress but did not have funds to purchase material. After enrolling in our micro loans program last year, she purchased material for school uniforms. Katie is on track with repayments on her first loan. Her plan is to save more, so that she can buy additional fabric to start stitching and selling Chitenge (a Zambian skirt).   

Thanks for giving vulnerable women an opportunity to become successful entrepreneurs

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