In 2017, generous donors such as yourself helped raise more than $30,000 for Power of Love's micro loans program in Zambia. These funds were used to provide new loans, business training, refresher training, and on-site business mentoring to 400 women entrepreneurs in Zambia. We are thrilled that in 2017, 257 new women were provided with business training; the newly trained women are applying business principles every day as they operate their new businesses. These skills are a permanent asset that can be used in diverse ways and help break the vicious circle of poverty, and low education.
The provision of new loans and ongoing program activities resulted in a huge and sustained impact on hundreds of families in our community. Here are some heartwarming numbers from the field:
1. About 90% of women are on track with repayments.
2. More than 70% of the women have moved to higher value items or expanded their businesses. For example, many women diversify their product line by adding higher value items such as soft drinks, meat etc.
3. The average capital growth was 25%.
4. Most women are learning to save a small amount each week and a few have opened bank accounts.
5. Earnings from businesses helped pay for school expenses or vocational training for more than 1400 children.
6. About 70% of the women invested in land or purchased cement/sand to extend their homes for rental purposes. Many women moved from selling by the roadside to selling from a shop. And about 6% of the women bought or built shops.
7. Earnings from businesses enabled 86 families to move out from living with their relatives to moving into their own place.
8. Almost all families were able to purchase small household items such as pots, pans, toys and many purchased bigger items such as stoves, bedding, chairs, and TV's.
9. The diet of all families 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. In addition, families are having more open discussions about HIV due to better information about HIV prevention. Finally. loan recipients become mentors, and enjoy a higher status in the community. As a result, our first-time entrepreneurs are more financially literate, self-reliant and the community stronger.