Providing seed funding to grow independent community business enterprises
Peggy, a banana farmer with her husband at Nshinso, sold dried fish which she had purchased from fishermen. This involved them walking, pushing a bicyle used as a carrier for their goods. It took four days to travel to Mboroma, a very isolated place, resting in the bush at night. Peggy bought 60kgs of dried fish from local fishermen there, supplementing the cost with some savings as the total was slightly more than her loan of £30. After two days' rest in Mboroma with relatives, they walked back to Nshinso where Peggy sold the fish. The profit covered the loan and interest payments of 30% (set by the women's group in order to safeguard the capital for other women to take out loans regularly) and she made a good profit.
This was used to buy fertilizer for their maize crop which produced an excellent harvest. They had a surplus of 60 bags which was worth 4 million Zambian Kwacha or £450. Peggy is now in a business partnership with the fishermen.
Rebecca is married with three children and, along with 20 women from her neighbourhood, she is a member of the Chibanga Women’s Group. They meet every week and thanks to the Hodi field team funded by BZT, they have embarked on a course in business skills.
The women take out small loans on a revolving six-month cycle. Rebecca borrowed £20. She paid for a lift to a the nearest town where she bought sweets and cooking oil. She sold them in small quantities, and with the proceeds she bought ten chicks which she reared and sold on. After all expenses, she made a 50% profit – which paid the school fees for her three children.
Agnes is a member of the Chibanga Women’s Group and with a loan of £20 she bought some brightly coloured cloth from a nearby town. She sold this in lengths of two metres to create chitenges – full-length skirts which women wear to cover the lower parts of their bodies.
She made a profit of 500% when she sold the chitenge material in her village. She invested some of this in a goat, and some new clothes for herself, and she was able to pay the school fees for some of her grandchildren. She then reinvested the balance in her small business – and, thanks to BZT and Hodi, Agnes continues to rear her goats, sell groceries… and buy more chitenge material.