These two brothers turned to microfinance in order to develop an equipment rental business for local events such as weddings, religious ceremonies and celebrations of all types.
For their first loan they borrowed 160,000 yen, to be repaid over 18 months, in order to increase their stock of equipment to be able to work on large-scale events. With their first loan they purchased sound equipment, chairs, tables, and a van to move their equipment to the venue. Their repayment was 2.5% per month (14,000 yen) and the loan came with a compulsory savings plan of 500 yen per month.
Since they started in January 2005, the brothers have grown their business so much they have hired two additional workers to help them. Their income has reached 50,000 per month and they are now planning for the education and health of their three children.
Many Indian women who find themselves alone are unable to achieve independence. This was the situation for Ranju Sammadar after the sudden death of her husband.
She used to work in a glove-cutting factory and earned 1500 rupees (3000 yen) a month. It wasn't enough to meet the needs of her children. Thus, at the age of 50, she decided to start her own glove-cutting business. She took out an initial loan of 5000 rupees (10,000 yen) that allowed her to get started. A second loan of 7000 rupees (14,000 yen) enabled her to develop the business.
Today, her income has increased to 2500 rupees (5000 yen) a month and her daughter has joined the business.
Visitaridun Lugtu bought a tricycle with a loan from a microfinance institution, which he then transformed into a store on wheels. He stocks it with everyday items - kitchen utensils, beauty products, cleaning products, repair tools - which he buys wholesale at a low price.
Before taking out a microfinance loan, he borrowed money from moneylenders at a high interest rate. As a result, he was only able to keep 17% of his daily turnover. Now, with a lower interest microfinance loan, he is able to keep 50% of his daily turnover, or 1200 yen per day.
Fatima (left) is married and has four children. She specializes in weaving fabrics for bags, carpets and baskets. She has taken out six consecutive loans of 55,000 yen each. The loans allowed her to finance the purchase of raw materials. Since she has grown her business, Fatima now employs seven other women and can send two of her children to school.
Goitom Woldae used a microfinance loan of 80,000 yen to purchase livestock at his village near the Sudanese border. He sells the livestock at markets in towns such as Himberti and Asmara.
To do so, he and his family walk with the livestock for 15 days, following the pasture trails. Although during the dry season pasture land is scarce, the business has been profitable and he is looking to take out another microfinance loan to invest in expanding his business.
Soraia Ali took out her first microfinance loan for 6000 yen three years ago. That first loan allowed her to develop her grocery store and, above all, finish paying for the education of her son, who is studying tourism.
Today she is on her fourth loan, which is 33,000 yen. With it she has expanded her grocery business and started a second business of providing a mobile phone for her customers to use to call family and friends.
Juan takes care of the drawings, and Cintya is in charge of design. Their first loan was for 130,000 yen, and their second for 270,000 yen. With loans they were able to purchase two big worktables, a drying/ironing board and a machine for washing their stencils.
Since their old machines did not allow them to keep up with demand they had to work nights. Now they have more time to raise their three children and even can put aside a little money in order to fulfill their dream of buying a home.
When he met with a microfinance institution in 2001, Asaed Basiony had been unemployed for two years and was struggling to make a decent life for his wife and seven children. Asaed now has eight children - and a fast growing business.
He buys old machines which he repairs and sells. His first loan was for 36,000 yen, and he used it to purchase equipment, rent a shop, and his first stock of used machines in need of repair. With his second loan, he purchased an electric generator. His third loan was for 90,000 yen and it allowed him to build machines used for making hummus in restaurants.
With his fourth loan and his savings he recently purchased a truck in order to widen the scope of his business and customer base without the additional cost of renting a vehicle.