Today I would like to talk to you about micro-lending, an area of Africa Bags that is important to know about. The basic idea of micro-lending is to create an opportunity for a person or group of people in an impoverished area to start their own business and allow them to become economically profitable and sustainable. These people generally do not have access to capital and are locked out of the banking system. Many of these loans are made without the normal requirements of collateral or a credit check, which is why many believe them to be very risky. However, these loans have started to create sustainable companies and improve the lives of many poverty stricken communities. Also, a lot of these projects have started to target women who were traditionally discouraged in many nations from engaging in these types of activities.  The figure below displays the typical micro-loan process. Currently Africa Bags has two projects that you can help with through a micro-loan of as little as $20. The first is the Engalaweni Village Maize loan and the second is the Trust Women’s Group.

The Mirco-loan Process 

Engalaweni Village Entrepreneurs 

The Engalaweni Village Maize loan allows for 17 families to buy seeds and fertilizer for their farms. This loan provides these families the ability to produce more maize and therefore provide a stable food source and an ability to make more money for the future. The loan goes towards two applications of fertilizer. The first round of fertilizer was paid for in December 2010 and the fertilizer was applied when the seeds were planted. Your loan funds the second round of fertilizer that is applied once the seeds have sprouted and grown to be around a foot high. These loans offer the security for the crops to grow fully until the harvest. In addition, your loan creates a fast return because it is paid back after the harvest in June or July. You can then take the money and reinvest it again in another great project such as the Trust Women’s Group.

Entrepreneurs from the Trust Women’s Group 

The Trust Women’s Group is the second project that Africa Bags is currently making Micro-loans for. This is a group of Malawian women that have started to operate small businesses that include things such as sales of tomatoes, maize, vegetables and charcoal. This loan is a great opportunity to help these women who have never run a business before because along with the money from the loan, they are receiving training from the Africa Bags loan officers. These officers will help the women learn the basics of running a business and how to make the most out of their particular product. These skills will help the people out of poverty and on their way to a better living.

If you would like to donate to either of these projects please visit the Africa bags website:

Engalaweni Village Maize loan: http://africabags.org/catalog/i172.html

Trust Women’s Group: http://africabags.org/catalog/i192.html

If you are looking for other places to make a Micro-Loan here are a few companies that you can visit:

Kiva: http://www/kiva.org/

Umuthu Trading – Blantyre

Accion: http://www.accion.org/

Micro Place: https://www.microplace.com/

 

 

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