Micro-Finance and Micro-Business
“Women’s economic empowerment is arguably the biggest social change of our times.”
- The Economist
In 2010, 70 women in Longido village received 2nd and 3rd loans of $300.00 each. Another 30 women received 1st loans of $150.00. The women work together in groups to support each other and to see that the loans are repaid on time. Some of their small businesses include: operating a canteen, selling “local brew”, running a pharmacy, selling chickens and eggs, selling market vegetables, selling used clothes, selling fabric, and selling goats in the auction.
Small loans make a very big positive difference in the lives of poor women who, otherwise, have no income of their own. Many of the women who receive loans from TEMBO are single mothers struggling to raise children on their own. They are also women wanting to contribute to the education of their children in the future.
Receiving micro-finance loans to begin small businesses does not work well in Kimokouwa village. Kimokouwa is a community that still lives a very traditional way of life. The men herd goats and cattle and the women raise the children and take care of the boma. Still the women are poor and are expected to provide everything for their families including food, fuel for cooking, clothing, and child care.
To help these women TEMBO provides direct micro-business opportunities that do not involve loans. One program trains some women to use better bead making techniques so their products can be competitive with products produced in the city. TEMBO then seeks markets to sell their bead work.