Natula praises the savings and loan-management training provided by WE International through its microfinance program. It helped her in business and in life, she says.
The business Natula started with funding from her microloan involves fish as a food product. First she used the money to buy Nile perch and a small fish called mukenne. Then she dried and smoked the fish and sold it in the village where she lives with her husband and four children.
With her profits, Natula reinvested to build the business and ultimately repay the microloan entirely. Now she wants to expand the business to other communities and markets.
The financial instruction and training Natula received as part of applying for a WE International microloan made her comfortable managing money and running a business. Now that her loan has been repaid, she’s looking forward to additional training and, possibly, applying for a larger loan to grow her business even more.
“Seeing how the loans have improved lives, more people—both men and women—want to join the savings and loan program,” says Fred.
After only one year in the program, Fred had saved a small sum and used it to further his studies in education. He also received financial training that helped him apply for and win a microloan. With that money, he bought arts and crafts supplies and established a craft business specializing in hats, greeting cards and more.
Today Fred continues to save and is enrolled in a Bachelor’s program at a University in Kampala, Uganda. He has been so successful in his business that he now teaches women in nearby villages to make popular crafts. And he runs microloan programs, always taking care to teach the difference between “wants” and “needs” to new loan recipients.
Then, in 2005, Asha learned about the microloan program offered through WE International. She submitted a business proposal, enrolled in the financial training offered by the program, and became one of the first recipients of a microloan from WE International.
Asha used the money to start a business making mandazi—a delicious fried dough—which sell for about 10 cents a piece. It is a stable business and has allowed her to create a second, smaller business making beads and woven bags.
Today Asha dreams of expanding her companies and devoting more time to crafts. For now, though, she is busy making the most of her new opportunities. And she’s proud to be one of the first of WE International’s loan recipients to completely repay her original microloan.