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Beatrice’s Small Business

Beatrice Sichone was a participant in NSI’s and USAID’s  WEAVE initiative in Zambia. Her Kapyandoshi WEAVE women’s microfinance and village banking group, which she joined in February, 2011 had 21 members and had accrued more than 1,800,000ZMK in their microbank at last count.

As a participant in the small business initiative she got a small loan of ZMK50, 000 from her women’s group and bought fertilizer, vegetable and tomato seeds which she planted on her plot of land.

Her tomato stand business allowed her to pay back her loan, buy school uniforms for her daughter, and further invest in her business. From the profits she bought a bicycle( which she uses to transport her vegetables to the market) and two pigs, a male and female with which she ventured into animal rearing, selling piglets and further expanding her business portfolio and establishing greater financial security for her family. She has been able to easily afford her daughter’s education and with the basic literacy training she received as part of WEAVE has no difficulty managing her financial assets.

Not only has Beatrice improved her life with the initiative. But she continues to play an active role, in her women’s group and counsels women on how to empower themselves by employing the same methods she used in her own line.

WEAVE in its full scope mobilized more than 8000 women in three constituencies in Mpika District and organized them into 412 groups. In less than three years, these rural women, who before then were solely dependent on their husbands for support, collectively raised nearly 156 million Zambian kwacha or the equivalent of $31,000 and considerably improved their financial stability, the educational prospects of their children and their families’ overall well-being. Initiatives such as this one, which produce sustainable beneficts in the lives of the world’s most vulnerable communities, are NSI’s mission.