Meet our Heroes: Stories of Two Successful Women Entrepreneurs

Power of Love’s (POL) micro loans program empowers women impacted by HIV/AIDS by providing them with business training, a small loan, and business advice and monitoring over the course of the loan period. Our program is specifically designed for women caring for the HIV-infected and is one of the few loan programs that works with women infected or impacted by HIV/AIDS.

Meet our Heroes:

Dorothy cares for nine children - four children of her own and five orphans. She was selling vegetables but her business was not doing well due to several similar vendors in her area. Dorothy wanted to start a new business but needed capital of at least $120-150. She enrolled in Power of Love's micro loans program and received business training and a loan to start a new business. Her new business (soap, oil, detergent, eggs, and toiletries) is doing well and with earnings from her business she has been able to pay for school expenses for two children who were not in school due to lack of funds. Dorothy plans on working hard and use the skills she learnt during business training to take her business forward. At present, Dorothy is happy that her business is doing well; her children are eating better, and are in school. She has become a mentor to other women in the community and encourages them to take charge of their own lives.

Jane is a widow caring for four children of her own and three children from her late brother. Both her husband and brother died the same year leaving her with no means to care for her family. Jane enrolled in our micro loans program, received business training and a loan and started selling fruits. At present Jane is on her third loan cycle and her business is doing well. She has expanded her assortment of goods to include eggs, cooking oil, and other types of groceries. She is very happy that she is able to take care of her family with earnings from her business. Jane's plan for the future is to keep all children in her care in school and make their living arrangement more comfortable by extending her late brother's one room house. She is confident that she can achieve her goals by working hard and saving for her future.

Need For Funds: At this time we are raising funds to provide an additional 100 new loans to women entrepreneurs like Dorothy and Jane in August 2013. This will bring the total number of women in our program to 250. Please donate generously to help these women take better care of their families, keep their children in school and take the first steps towards self-reliance.

Conclusion: Micro loans successfully enable women to engage in self-employment projects and set them on the road to self-reliance. These loans help a poor household meet basic needs and protect against unexpected financial expenses. For most women there is a dramatic improvement in their standard of living and they may graduate out of poverty. For all involved there is perceived improvement in gender equality, improved economic welfare, and a sense of well-being and self-empowerment. We are proud to report that all of the outcomes of this project continue to be significant, sustainable and permanent.

Thanks for your support to poor women entrepreneurs in Zambia.