Rakhi's Story

Rakhi’s Story: The Gift of Financial Education

Mrs. Rakhi Kumar, customer of the Meerut Branch, runs a shop with gift items along with her husband, Mr. Pramod Kumar. She was not unable to manage her accounts, and hence find her income. She had, so she joined the Diksha program (the financial literacy program run for Ujjivan customers through our sister NGO)  about 4 months ago and learned how to budget her family expenses and the importance of saving money. After the program she managed to save Rs.9000 and used her savings to expand her gift shop. Recently, she also received an Individual Loan of Rs. 75,000 which she utilized to increase the variety of gift items at her store. Now her customers have a lot of items to choose from and her family is earning well. Rakhi is grateful to Ujjivan for educating her on financial literacy and for providing her financial assistance to expand her family business.

 

Ujjivan has been a member of the Women’s World Banking Network since 2008. Click here for more information: https://www.womensworldbanking.org/about-us/partnerships/network-members/ujjivan/

 

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Latifah's Story

Latifah’s Story from Women’s World Banking on Vimeo.

Latifah’s Story

Women’s World Banking worked with network member Microfund for Women (MFW) in Jordan to create the country’s first private health microinsurance offering. The Caregiver product provides a cash benefit after hospitalization that clients, like Latifah, can use for a range of related needs: transportation to the hospital or replacement of lost revenue while their businesses have been closed.

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Kalpana’s story

From college drop-out to a painter-entrepreneur: Kalpana’s story

 

June 15, 2015
By: Ujjivan

Pair a dream with a microloan and you may find a path to a better life.

When you take a right turn at the Nakhra junction on the busy Bhubaneshwar-Cuttack highway, and travel another two kilometers, you will come across Phulnakhra, a nondescript town about 20 kilometers from Bhubaneshwar, the capital of the Indian state of Odisha. It is in towns like these that India’s traditional and world-renowned arts and handicrafts were born centuries ago, such as pattachitra, a traditional painting style based on Hindu mythology that the state of Odisha is known for. These artists, known as chitrakaras, use only natural colors created in the traditional way: grinding, boiling and filtering vegetables and minerals to produce the brilliance in hue associated with the pattachitra.

As tastes in art have moved away from traditional handicrafts, many traditional artisans are giving up their craft to pursue more lucrative professions. So it comes as a bit of a surprise to find Kalpana Moharana, a 24-year old Phulnakhra native who wants to develop her pattachitra skills further and expand her business.

Kalpana didn’t set out to be chitrakara. She has headed for the educated class, but her family’s financial reality proved a big barrier: their monthly household income of Rs.6000 (USD 93) is often barely enough to support their family of four. Her father and brother earn this income through furniture work while her mother and sister-in-law run the household. Kalpana is the youngest in the household and so her freedom was often restricted by her family. But they were supportive of her education—in fact, she completed the matriculation exam to enter university in 2002. However, given her family’s difficult financial circumstances, she had to drop out of school shortly thereafter. Needless to say, Kalpana was devastated.

While she was helping out in the household and doing odd jobs to support the family income, Kalpana learned about pattachitra from traditional expert artisans at Kendupitha, a nearby village. Gradually, she got more interested in the work and started working with these artisans more and more. She picked up the skills quickly and felt that she found a renewed purpose to her life. Within a year of her training, Kalpana started working on her own pattachitra designs from home.

The biggest expenses in pattachitra creation are the canvas bundles and the natural colors. For Kalpana, these average to about Rs.100 (USD 1.56)for each pattachitra. She took a loan from Ujjivan (one of their first clients in the area) in order to purchase the canvas in bulk to get better rates. Today, she has a loan of Rs.12,000 (USD 187.23) in her third year with Ujjivan and her business is thriving: major retail outlets in tourist cities such as Bhubaneshwar have been placing orders for Kalpana’s pattachitras.

Today, Kalpana earns about Rs.250-300 (USD 3.90-4.68) for each pattachitra she makes. She earns around Rs.3000 (USD 46.81) per month from the sales of her pattachitras, half of what her father and brother used to earn! She is able to support herself and her family, and is reviving an almost-lost Indian tradition at the same time. Kalpana’s story is an inspiring reminder of how despite having one’s dreams taken away, you can still seize opportunity and, with the help of an organization like Ujjivan, make another kind of dream come true.

 

*Rupee to dollar amounts were converted using June 12, 2015 foreign exchange rates

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Allen's Story

Allen’s Story

Allen’s Story from Women’s World Banking on Vimeo.

Finance Trust Bank and Women’s World Banking worked together to develop and offer a health microinsurance product to help alleviate the financial burden of major illnesses and accidents for low-income clients, like Allen Nomotuvo.

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Shirley's Story

Hard work and a microloan turned Shirley into a successful business owner

By Women’s World Banking
September 25, 2017

Shirley Ecot owes her work ethic to her mother: “We were taught to do business the hard way.” Her mother trained them to wake up at 1 in the morning to ensure they were at the market when it opened at 3 AM.

Shirley helped out in her family’s market stall for years before getting married and move to a new city with her husband where they opened a small sundries vending operation. They took the savings from this income to start making and selling a new product: cooked peanuts. The couple sold their product around schools, markets and the bus terminal rather successfully until

Shirley became pregnant. They moved back to their hometown where they resumed their business. Slowly but surely, they were able to sell more kinds of peanuts to more stores.

They started borrowing money to be able to keep up with supply but this came with an added stress: the unrelenting need to pay their debts everyday. Lucky for Shirley, Women’s World Banking network member Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF) was operating in her area. Shirley joined Project Dungganon which helped her buy additional supplies and equipment, eventually formalizing her business to “Fritzie’s Peanuts,” named after their son. With every loan from Shirley was able to grow and expand her business from a mobile vending stall to a formal operation that generates more than PHP 300,000 (USD 6,250) per month and employs members of 15 families in her community.

“It is amazing and fulfilling to touch others’ lives in [a] simple and humble

way. I pray that God will continue to shower us His blessings so that I can continue to help others in my community. After all, it’s God who gave me Project Dungganon, Fritzie and Fritzie’s, so I really thank Him always.”

In 2009, she was awarded the Masikap Award by the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards, in recognition of her accomplishments.

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Dendev’s story

A loan to power her family business: Dendev’s story in Mongolia

June 13, 2016
By: Women’s World Banking

Oyunchimeg Dendev graduated from the College of Polytechnics in Mongolia as a light industry technician and mechanic. She got her first and only job was for the State Sewing Factory. After 16 years with the company, she decided to strike out on her own. She made her first tailored goods using her home sewing machine, and started selling the women’s suits and school uniforms.

She couldn’t afford rent space in the market so she sold the products through word-of-mouth. A year later, her husband joined the family business when he lost his job at the brick factory. Eventually their two older children learned to use the sewing machines and also helped their parents in the business. As the capacity increased, however, they lacked working capital to expand the business.

That’s when Dendev learned about XacBank. From her first loan of around USD 200 to purchase sewing machines and electric dynamos, to multiple ones over the years that she religiously repaid, Dendev has been able to rent five market stalls to sell their product, build an extension to their house to expand their production area and purchase a vehicle to transport her goods. She has even begun to import men’s shirts and ties. Her peak season profits can go up to USD 1,000 a day!

Now that both her children have graduated from university (education her business profits were able to pay for), Dendev is setting her sights on more growth for her business. And her family will be there to support her: all her children are now skilled tailors who help her in coming up with new designs for her product.

Find more stories like Dendev’s on our Facebook page!

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Parveen's Story

The indomitable spirit of Parveen Ali: a microentrepreneur success story

August 21, 2017
By Kashf Foundation

Parveen Basharat Ali is a woman who perseveres.

She persevered to build an embroidery business after her husband moved their young family from Faisalabad to Lahore to seek economic opportunity. She persevered to keep her family’s finances afloat after a deadly accident that ultimately killed their daughter wiped out the family’s savings. She persevered after her husband’s salary could no longer fulfill the necessities of their seven remaining children. She persevered because Kashf Foundation was there when she needed help the most.

Four years after her first loan with Kashf, Parveen’s embroidered products are now in great demand in Lahore and in other nearby towns. She has also emerged as a leader in her community, conducting training for other women in her community so they too can have a business, even if it means creating competition for her own products.

Through her hard work and Kashf’s support, Parveen was able to take her family from the brink of destitution to being the proud owner of three houses and the sole benefactor of two of her daughters’ weddings.

“I thank God for my success and for Kashf’s advent in my life… without becoming a part of Kashf, I would not have achieved the well-being and sense of peace that I have today”

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Sabah's Story

 

Sabah’s Story

When her husband fell off an electrical pole and could no longer work, the future seemed dim for Sabah Adel Mahmoud and her family. With limited opportunity available, she decided to take a loan from the Lead Foundation and begin a poultry business.

Her business began with the hatching of 200 chicks. Today, however, there are over 1,000. In order to create an atmosphere that can accommodate so many birds, Sabah and her husband have built a large room with special heating conducive to the animals.

In the midst of the chaos of chicks running from left to right, her two young children play with chicks while occasionally pouring bird seed into bowls. Through their mother’s entrepreneurial success, both children have been able to attend school in recent years. READ FULL BLOG

 

 

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Siddika's Story

Siddika rose to the challenge and changed her family’s life: a client success story

 

By ASA
January 23, 2016

Siddika Begum is a tailor of bespoke and ready-to-wear clothes in the west Agargoan area of Dhaka City, Bangladesh. She sells salwars (traditional dresses), camizes (shirts) as well as ladies underwear. Starting this business was borne out of need: after her parents married her off to a government worker while she was in the 10th grade, her father died, leaving the responsibility of caring for their family on Siddika’s shoulders. Siddika was just a simple housewife and had no financial ability to assist her siblings. But she rose to the challenge and started making clothes at home, using the income to help her family.

From this, a new chapter of Siddika’s life was opened. As the demand and fame of Siddika’s clothes increased, she outgrew her home-based operation. With a loan from Women’s World Banking network member ASA, she rented a shop at a narrow lane of west. For the last five years, she has taken loans from ASA on a regular basis, starting with one amounting to Tk. 50,000 which is presently used in her business. Now, Siddika earns Tk. 30,000 net on average per month from her business. She was even able to set up a new shop and give it to her brother so he too, can have an income-generating activity. Siddika has three children and all of them are studying in school.

 

Siddika has big dreams: she wants to build a big garment factory and provide opportunities for many other people to work. She hopes ASA will help her turn this dream into reality—but she is confident that this will happen… soon.

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Rani's Story

Rani’s Story

August 18, 2014
By Kashf Foundation

Rani is known amongst her neighbors and family as little Rani. “I never got married- no one wanted to marry me. They would call me a dwarf! My family was very upset at this but I decided then that I would never be a financial burden on anyone.” Rani is no burden; in fact she brings in half of the income on which her brother and his wife, whom she lives with, survive. Rani has been working for ten years with livestock, selling cow milk and manure for farming and fertilizer.

Rani started her business with one cow and would toil all day, but she couldn’t always meet the customers’ demands. Having one cow was risky, all of her income depended on it. Rani wanted to expand her business and make sure she didn’t entrust her livelihood on her single cow, so she decided that she would take a loan from Kashf Foundation to buy another cow. “I did not want to ask any family members, I knew they would not support me so I heard about Kashf and went to them. It was the best decision for my business.”

Today, Rani has 5 cows and has been borrowing loans from Kashf for 4 years. She now has an expanded client base and is able to sell more milk. “I have more work now but I am so happy because I would have nothing to do and would be dependent on others for a living. Now not only do I make enough for myself I also give some money to my brother. I feel no shame in living in his house as I contribute more than him. I am very content with my life and will continue working and I hope to invest more money in my business- in fact by the end of this year I hope to purchase another cow!”

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