Empowering Women to Reach Business Goals

July 25, 2014

Ibrahim Mariama is a resident of Daringa and a vibrant member of The Hunger Project’s Microfinance Program in Benin. As a wife and mother of three children, she sells rice paste to support her family.

As an active member of The Hunger Project’s Microfinance group, she walks us through her impressions and journey.

“Before my loan with the The Hunger Project, I was on a strict repayment installment plan. As soon I sold food, I had to immediately pay back my loan. It was an unprofitable cycle and kept me from meeting my family’s daily needs.

One day, I visited the epicenter to learn about The Hunger Project’s program. Following a training, I was eligible for a $45 loan. This allowed me to consistently have more operating capital. I can now order a bag of rice and five liters of palm oil, at least. On three days’ take, I reinvest two of them and consider the third day’s take my income. This structure allows me to provide food for my children, contribute to my community, and help my husband. Today I feel he respects me more and trusts me to have a say on important decisions about the future of our children.”

Ibrahim also believes the loan has helped strengthen her relationships with other women in her group. They often discuss different strategies they can implement to repay their loans on time:

“In order to always repay our loan on the due date, we created a cashbox where we contribute a fixed amount of $8 every month during meetings. This removes a lot of the pressure.”

In addition to her own personal growth, Ibrahim sees how her group’s dynamics has influenced and motivated other women. She feels hopeful about her future and the ongoing development in her community.

“More women are looking to organize a group in order to obtain credit to finance and strengthen their business activities. We sincerely hope that this goes on.”

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July 25, 2014