Success Story: Evelesi
Today we want to share with you the story of Evelesi, one of our superstar entrepreneurs.
Evelesi was born into a family living in poverty in Malawi. She grew up without the most basic necessities such as regular meals and clothes. She left school at age 12, and became a mother at the young age of 15.
Evelesi now has ten children, and is responsible for 12 dependants. Despite this huge responsibility on her shoulders, she has always been determined to ensure that none of her children endure the hardships she did growing up. Before she joined a MicroLoan group six years ago, Evelesi was already an aspiring entrepreneur selling cassava locally. However, sales were extremely slow, and there were barely enough customers to turn a profit. She joined MicroLoan for additional capital as well as the business and financial literacy training she needed to flourish as a businesswoman.
Equipped with the acumen to build a sustainable and profitable enterprise, Evelesi was able to grow her cassava business and expanded by opening a grocery store. The store was well-stocked and highly popular, so she was able to further diversify her business by purchasing three motorcycles to rent to other members of the community.
It is testament to Evelesi’s drive and determination that in just six years, she has almost tripled her weekly earnings. She is now on her 18th loan cycle with MicroLoan and runs three successful businesses with five employees. Evelesi’s success in business has not just transformed her own life, but the life of her 12 dependants, her brother, her husband and her employees. When one woman thrives, a whole community can be positively impacted.
With a steady income, Evelesi can afford nutritious food, and school fees for her children – necessities she never had growing up. She recently purchased three plots of land on which she has built a secure, self-contained home for her family. She hopes to send her children to university so they can reach their full potential and achieve their dreams. What’s more, MicroLoan’s transformational impact has potential to engender long-term change. With support from MicroLoan, Evelesi has broken a cycle of intergenerational poverty, and rewritten the future of her family.
When you support MicroLoan on Work for Good you empower women just like Evelesi.
Success story: Annie Malikizi
Annie Malikizi remained in formal education until the age of 21 which is rare for women in her community as many families are unable to pay for school fees and the education of boys is often prioritised.
A year after she left education, Annie was married and welcoming her first child. She and her husband now have four children, including one adopted child. Over time, the family of six could no longer survive solely on her husband’s income and eventually they started to fall behind on school fees and had to frequently miss meals.
Annie’s ambition is to ensure her children complete their education and grow up to have the skills and tools to live a healthy and sustainable life. Annie started a business selling basic groceries such as fruit and vegetables. Sales were slow and without the capital to make improvements and meet local demand she began to operate at a loss. Nsanje is a region with high poverty rates and many women live without the infrastructure and resources to support their ambitions. Geographically isolated, traditional banks are not readily accessible, and even someone with Annie’s educational background may struggle to access affordable credit.
Introduced to MicroLoan by a friend, Annie seized the opportunity to learn financial literacy and business skills. She used her loan to diversify her products to meet local demand, and attributes her business success to re-investing her profits. After her first loan cycle with MicroLoan, Annie was making a weekly profit of MWK3,000.
Now in her tenth loan cycle, her weekly profits have more than tripled and she can afford regular meals for her whole family, as well as school fees for her children.
All companies who support MicroLoan Foundation on Work for Good are helping women just like Annie to work their own way out of poverty. If you would like to help a woman like Annie, pledge and donate today!
Success Story: Madalitso
Today we want to share with you the success story of Madalitso Nkhoma, one of our inspirational entrepreneurs from Malawi.
Madalitso Nkhoma left school at age of 13, and gave birth to her first child a few years later. Now age 31, Madalitso has two children aged 15 and nine and cares for one orphan.
Young women often end education early, and are married young in order to relieve the financial burden on their parents. As a result, there are many barriers to independence and self-sufficiency for women like Madalitso, including low literacy rates. Employment opportunities are scarce and many women are unable to access capital to start their own business. This is compounded by geographical factors, as living in remote villages means there is little or no access to formal banking services.
Soon after the birth of her first child Madalitso started a small business running a hair salon to alleviate some of the mounting financial pressure on her husband. Initially, her business struggled due to a lack of capital and she failed to attract enough customers to cover the running costs.
A friend told Madalitso about MicroLoan’s livelihoods programme and within a few months of financial literacy and business training, Madalitso began to find her feet. She invested her first loan in the purchase of additional equipment such as hair dryers, straighteners, and weaves which gave her salon the upgrade it needed to attract more customers. Now on her 6th loan cycle, her weekly profits have doubled from MWK15,000 to MWK30,000, and she has been able to hire one paid employee. When chatting to the MicroLoan team, Madalitso had high praise for her LTOs who delivered training and mentoring which gave her the confidence to independently manage her income and savings, re-investing her profits for growth. With these skills, Madalitso has diversified her business, using a portion of her profits to buy gift wrapping paper to sell.
With her income, Madalitso pays for her children’s education and supports family members whose financial situation have been devastated by COVID-19. The success of her salon has also enabled Madalitso to save enough money to complete the construction of a new home for her family.
So what’s next for Madalitso’s salon? In the coming months, Madalitso hopes to further diversify by expanding her shop to include the sales of cosmetics and make-up. Above all else, she dreams of seeing her children prosper, and she often takes her teenage daughter to the salon to teach her all she has learned about running her own successful business. When asked about her children’s future, Madalitso said, “My wish is for my children to finish school so that their choices aren’t limited, I want them to have access to the opportunities I never had.”
Our partners on Work for Good have helped us reach women just like Madalitso across Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. To continue our work and empower even more women we need your support, so pledge and donate today!