Microlending and challenges in the rural community of Msitu wa Tembo

W.E. Thrive is a branch of the Women Empowerment Program, that focuses on the economic empowerment of women, in the group Kazi na Sala, by training its members to reinforce savings habits and encouraging entrepreneurship. Through the Microlending Initiative (MLI), W.E. Thrive is also providing access to skill-building opportunities and capital needed to create and grow their businesses in order to gain greater financial independence.

Bike shop mechanic

Hamida fixing a bike from the Bike Shop

Involved since the beginning with TATU Project, Hamida is a long-standing member of the Kazi na Sala group. Residing in Msitu wa Tembo with her husband, mother, and five children Hamida is involved in various projects such as the Bike Shop where she is a leader and mechanic and part of the Community Health Workers (CHW).

Additionally, Hamida is also an active businesswoman working in the poultry business, small-scale farming (maize, beans, and eggplants), selling petrol, and running a small restaurant in the community for more than 4 years. Hamida is working hard to ensure the health and education of her children, to improve her family’s standard of living, and to build a new home.

She took a business loan of 300,000 TZS (around 130$) in December 2017 and dispatched money into her different businesses.

How did she invest the loan?

  • Poultry business (150,000 TZS – 66$): she bought 30 chickens and built the poultry house. In few weeks, she got 45 chickens. Unfortunately, during the floods, she lost 15 chickens and her poultry house was destroyed. For now, she is still struggling on building the henhouse again. However, she explained that the poultry business is the most profitable because she can sell both eggs and cattle. Before the floods, she used to sell more than 70 eggs for the price of 300 TZS (0,13$) each and poultry (Roosters and Hens) for the price range from 10,000 TZS (4,5$) to 15,000 TZS (6,5$) each.
  • Microlending TATU Project

    Hamida in front of her house and restaurant

    Petrol business (75,000 TZS – 33$):
    she bought 20 liters of petrol and sold it for 50,000 TZS (22$).
    She said petrol is not very profitable with small profit.

  • Restaurant business (75,000 TZS – 33$): Since the rainy season, the business is going slowly. Indeed, expecting the end of the harvesting, people in the community try to save money as much as they can. Usually, she would buy 25kg of flour for a week but nowadays, she uses the 25kg in a month. Per consequence, her weekly turnover went from 50,000 (22$) to 10,000 TZS (4,5$).

What challenges did she face?

Hamida is an experienced business woman and had a proper plan to pay back the Microlending Initiative (MLI).

Unfortunately, the loss of her chickens, the lack of customers during the rainy and Shamba season (farming season) and additionally the floods affecting the poultry house, lead her not being able to pay back on time. However, even with all of these challenges that she had to face up, she still managed to pay back 200,000 TZS (88$) which represent approximately 80% of the total loan that she took with MLI.

According to her calculations and the end of the Shamba season, she promised to complete the remaining amount before the end of October 2018 by providing every week 20,000 TZS (9$) to MLI.

What is her feedback on Microlending service?

She is very grateful for the patience and the consideration of the MLPs. She believes that the MLI initiative will help women in the community through loan provision.

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