Women in Longido are rarely able to borrow money to start businesses because the women lack any credit rating. TEMBO addresses this problem by offering small microfinance loans. Since 2007, when the program first began, over 150 women have received loans and many have gone on to build successful businesses. Today, there are 98 women in the program. Here are a few of their stories:
owns a hair salon. She has been with the program for two years and once she paid back her first loan, she took out another to buy supplies such as hair extensions.
Anna wants to expand her business by purchasing a second hair dryer, so that she can serve more customers each day.
has become a successful business woman who graduated from the TEMBO loan program in 2014. She has been accepted for a loan from the bank because of her good credit rating. She runs a small retail store which sells groceries and toiletries. Sometimes the transactions are very small. For example, a small boy comes to buy one infant diaper. Juliet also runs a fabric shop where she sells colourful kangas and kitenges, and employs a seamstress to make clothing.
, a traditional Maasai woman, owns a small vegetable business where she sells cabbage, beans, maize and tomatoes and potatoes in season.
Her biggest selling item is tobacco which people buy in small quantities, about 2 tablespoons for 500 TSH (40 cents). Naalarami displays her goods on a blanket on the cement stoop of a shop where she works from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. With this business, she is able to help provide for her 3 grandchildren.
owns a mill which grinds maize and some wheat. Women bring their own grain or buy it there and then pay to have it milled on Mary’s diesel powered equipment.
Mary received her first loan 7 years ago and after 7 loans which she successfully repaid, she qualified for a loan from the bank. Her husband operates a small metal shop across from her business and he has been able to keep the mill in good working order. However, Mary has plans to improve her business by replacing her mill with a new electric mill.
Women in the program say that the TEMBO loans have had an impact on their lives. The proceeds from their business support their families' basic needs, food and schooling. Their businesses face the same challenges as any business: competition and late payments from customers. But, despite these challenges, the women are pleased to have the opportunity to run their own businesses.