We are Proud of our Women Entrepreneurs in Zambia
We would like say a big "Thank You" to our friends for supporting women entrepreneurs in Zambia take the first steps towards self-reliance.
Power of Love’s microloans program empowers women impacted/affected by HIV/AIDS who are left out of traditional microloan programs and helps them become self-reliant. You will be happy to know that in 2012, we provided loans to 145 women in Zambia. For these 145 women this was the second or third loan cycle and we expect that they will finish repaying in November/December 2012. At this time, almost all the women are on schedule with their loan repayments. These women were provided with business training and their first loan in 2010. Since then they have been running their businesses and supporting their families with earnings from their business. As a result of earnings from their businesses the women have been able to care for their families, send their children to school, and have been able to save a small amount each day.
As a result of earnings from their businesses the women have been able to send their children to school and more than 73 children have been able to attend school as a result of this program. Most important, we are proud of our women entrepreneurs who have learned the value of savings, and now save a small amount each day. Out of this group, about 114 women have savings and more than 50% have savings in a bank account. When they joined our program in 2010, less than 5% of these women had savings.
The average amount saved is small, but it helps the women (i) take care of emergencies such as sicknesses, funerals, and school fees/expenses, (ii) purchase raw material/inventories for their business, and (iii) help the women to continue running their business after they have completed the maximum of three loan cycles and have graduated from our program.
Second, we are proud of the women as most of them have been able to increase their capital. We are especially proud of the 56 women entrepreneurs who have increased their capital by 100% or more, and another 18 women who have increased their capital by 50% or more. A few women have used these funds to finish building their shops, or purchasing small plots of land to build homes/shops. In addition, 81 children are back in school as a result of this program. We are confident that these women entrepreneurs should be able to break out of the cycle of poverty and stand on their own feet. They have built successful businesses and are eager to continue their growth.
The long-term impact of our micro loans program is to allow women to start planning, saving, and building a better future for themselves and their families. Our women entrepreneurs take the first steps towards self-reliance, run thriving businesses and become role models and mentors for other women in the community. The program has a substantial impact on the community beyond the program participants themselves as the women in our program encourage others in the community to go in for voluntary testing and counseling (VCT), start businesses and take charge of their own lives.
Most of the women in Power of Love’s micro loans program have built successful businesses and are eager to continue their growth. We are proud of our women entrepreneurs, who with your generous donations have been able to support themselves and their families, run thriving businesses, and take the first steps towards self-reliance.