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View Diary: Microcredit: be a Venture Capitalist. (185 comments)

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  •  didn't link right (none)
    it's here

    although it's getting late, you still have plenty of time

    by maracuja on Thu Oct 27, 2005 at 05:43:49 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Holy Crap!!! (4.00)

      From Begging for Bubbles to Running Her Own Business

      When she was 13 years old, Nayima Umaru was married and two years later gave birth to her first child. She had seven more children with her first husband before he became ill and died, leaving her pregnant with twins and no way to make a living. Her neighbors shunned her because she was an unmarried woman with many children, and had no one to provide for her.

      Mrs. Umaru moved to a single room with her children. They had nothing to eat; Mrs. Umaru couldn't even afford a piece of soap. She would sweet-talk whomever was doing laundry, asking them to give her their used bubbles so she could wash her childrens clothes. Because they were so poor, all the children were forced to drop out of school. Mrs. Umaru's family members only called on her when their maids were away and they had chores to be done. She obliged them willingly, however, because she knew her children would have a full meal from the leftovers.

      Mrs. Umaru began selling bananas and fried cassava by the roadsides, but still her life didnt change much. Then her friend introduced her to her village banking group so she could expand her banana business. At first, the group members shunned her because she was considered half-caste - her father was not Ugandan. They believed she would run away with the money, and they would be responsible for paying her loan. But her friend pleaded with them to accept Mrs. Umaru; they consented on condition that the friend would repay Mrs. Umaru's loan if she defaulted.

      Mrs. Umaru's first loan was 100,000 Uganda shillings (US$50). Her dream was to operate her own small business and improve the lives of her children, so she saved a portion of each loan and, today, after eight years as a village bank member, she runs a small restaurant and a catering business. Two of her daughters are now married and work at the restaurant; four of her children are still in school; and one son works at a petrol station. She has remarried for companionship, and plans to complete her four-bedroom house this year.

      Mrs. Umaru is grateful that her friend sponsored her in their village bank group, and thankful that FINCA Uganda has been there for her as she has fulfilled her dream.

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