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Success story: Maryse Phiri

Success story: Maryse Phiri

Maryse Phiri is the mother of five children and runs a bamboo mat making business to provide for her family.

She has been making mats for over 22 years after learning the skill and trade from her parents. Whilst she is extremely skilled at what she does, before joining MicroLoan she wasn’t able to make it a profitable business. Maryse struggled to feed and educate her children. When she had to pull one of her daughters out of school because she could no longer afford the fees Maryse knew something has to change.

Since joining MicroLoan three years ago Maryse has seen her business develop and grow. Traders from Kasungu, the nearest town, now come to the village to purchase her mats. There are several people in the region who make bamboo mats but Maryse’s mats are particularly popular because she makes them larger and sells them for the same price as her competitors. She has now hired four employees that help her meet the demand for her products.

With her increased income and growing business she is proud to say that the family have enough food and her daughter is back in education, so all her children are attending school.

Watch the below above to find out just how much your support has helped Maryse and her family.

How you can get involved

Pledge and donate today to ensure MicroLoan can reach more women like Maryse and help them work their own way out of poverty.

COVID-19 Emergency Appeal

COVID-19 Emergency Appeal

MicroLoan Foundation like all charities in the UK is feeling the effects of COVID-19. Due to social distancing measures all our fundraising events have been postponed until later in the year. MicroLoan is in serious need of donations. We know that women’s livelihoods will collapse if they do not receive access to capital and support. With the threat of starvation looming, we need your help.

COVID-19 has now reached the very poorest communities. The people most at risk. Thousands of families who were already struggling to survive are now facing an even bigger challenge.

This pandemic has the power to propel the women we work with into even deeper poverty. As small holder farmers and caregivers the women we support are providing services and goods that are essential for the survival of their families and communities. For many women already living in poverty, the risk of starvation is as great as the risk of the COVID-19. We need to support our beneficiaries now more than ever.

What is MicroLoan doing to help?

Mentoring and supporting women to help their businesses survive

We are providing additional mentoring and business support for the women, helping them restructure or diversify to ensure their businesses survive. We are also encouraging them to give feedback to help us provide the support they need.

Writing off and rescheduling loans to reduce pressure

During this emergency we will write off and reschedule loans as we want to remove any unnecessary stress for the women at this challenging time. This means they can focus on looking after their families and communities during the crises.

Providing top up capital to ensure they have the cashflow to continue running their business

In times of crises we know that our women are struggling with cashflow. We will provide top-up loans for the women who need it. Agricultural produce and food businesses are essential for the survival of communities. We need to do everything we can to support the women running these businesses and prevent a famine.

Providing protective equipment and digital services to reduce transmission

Where possible, we are providing top-up loans through mobile money rather than cash handling. We are investing in technology to help us stay in contact and support the women remotely. Staff are working from home and if they do have to go out into the field we are ensuring they have the correct equipment to keep the women and themselves safe.

What you can do to help

Pledge and donate today via your business.

• £40 will write off a loan for a woman

• £100 will provide additional mentoring and support throughout the crises to save a woman’s livelihood

• £500 will help four women receive additional mentoring and emergency loans to get through the crises

With your help we can continue to deliver our vital work to the women living in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

MicroLoan's Interview with Hannah Martin - Talented Ladies Club

MicroLoan's Interview with Hannah Martin - Talented Ladies Club

Each year MicroLoan Foundation helps over 65,000 women living in rural poverty in sub-Saharan Africa to become entrepreneurs and work their way out of poverty. MicroLoan provides these women with business and financial literacy training, on-going mentoring and small affordable loans so they can start businesses. The profits they generate from their businesses allow the women to increase their family’s access to healthcare, nutrition and education.

Our success in helping these women is in part due to generous donations made by our corporate partners here on Work for Good.

One of our partners, Talented Ladies Club uses the Work for Good platform to donate to MicroLoan. I had the opportunity to speak with Hannah Martin, the Founder and Director of Talented Ladies Club about our partnership.

Read below and find out what a partnership with MicroLoan could do for your business!

The Interview

What drew your attention to MicroLoan Foundation?

In August 2016 I received an email from MicroLoan about a campaign you were running at the time, and whether we could help share some of the stories from it. I really liked the sound of what you did – you were a small charity committed to helping women in sub-Saharan Africa to start businesses so they could work their way out of poverty, improve their family’s lives and prospects and (as a result) contribute positively to their local community.

So I got in touch to see how else we could help and we’ve had an ongoing relationship ever since.

How easy has donating to MicroLoan been on the Work for Good platform?

Work for Good has made it much easier to donate to MicroLoan. I know that any legal/paperwork side to donation are taken care of, and I can make direct payments through the platform quickly and easily.

What has been the highlight of the partnership between MicroLoan and Talented Ladies Club?

To me it’s knowing the difference Microloan are making to entire families and communities – to people who are far less fortunate in terms of money and opportunities than we are in the UK. To play even a tiny role in helping Microloan continue their work is an honour.

What positive impact has supporting MicroLoan had on Talented Ladies Club?

It’s enabling us to genuinely live up to our company mission and vision, and positively contribute to the world. Most importantly by empowering mothers to support their families and gain economic independence.

Why should other companies choose to support MicroLoan?

Because your money and support will genuinely make a difference. By providing women with small loans and business training and mentoring (via your support of MicroLoan), you help women to earn money to feed their family, to provide jobs and services for their local community, to earn money to spend within their local community, and you enable their children to remain at school – giving greater learning and hope to the next generation.

The average business starter loan lent to a woman in Malawi is just £22 – and that sum has the potential to transform an entire family’s lives for years to come. For me that’s a huge return on your donation.

On a personal level I also think we have a responsibility to help those less fortunate than ourselves. If we all practiced that principle the world would be a very different – and much fairer – place.