To present women with a way out of their severe economic limitations, MP established a microfinance loan program.
Partnering with Women’s Microfinance Initiative (WMI) we offered the loan program in Alailelai village and Karatu district.
Microfinance loans available to women in these poverty-stricken areas stabilize incomes and improve living standards. To date, more than 430 women have launched successful businesses and accumulated savings through this popular and effective loan program.
After years of intense collaboration between Maasai Partners, WMI and local loan leaders, the program is now functioning completely independently.
Lacking funds for basic family needs
Maasai women living in remote areas like Alailelai have limited access to the outside world. Maasai do not have an active cash economy and are not permitted to do subsistence agriculture within the conservation area where they live. As a result, they lack the money necessary to provide food and medical care for their families’ survival. It is difficult to meet basic family needs.
Women living in Karatu district are somewhat more fortunate, with many market opportunities and small subsistence farms. Compared to Alailelai, Karatu district has a stronger cash economy, as that area is more integrated into the country’s overall development. With that said, Karatu’s inhabitants still have an very low average daily income.
Seizing the opportunity to improve earnings
Prior to the loan program, lack of access to capital limited the women’s participation in the opportunities offered by their local markets. Now, with the Maasai Partners loan program, women have seized the opportunity to improve their earning potential and living standards.
Microfinance offers confidence and financial independence for hundreds of women. This program involves an intensive two-day training to impart business techniques and strategies for women with a variety of interests to generate group loans.
Look for personal stories of loan recipients throughout our blog area.
How our microloan program works
Requiring no collateral, loan groups of 10 to 25 borrowers receive $100-200 per person, with a 10-percent flat interest rate. After a six-month term, successful borrowers are eligible for follow-up loans and increased amounts.
After 24 months borrowers transition to self sustainability through group bank loans. Freed-up loan money is then used to fund new borrowers. Loan interest generates funds for administrative costs and business skills training for the borrowers, enabling them to run the program themselves.
That money will be used again and again for new businesses as the loans are repaid, providing help when it is most needed.