A Microfinance Success Story: From the DRC to DC
Annie Boma Kamuanya, a long-time FINCA client from the Democratic Republic of Congo, recently traveled to the United States for a conference and stopped by FINCA’s headquarters in Washington, DC. Clad in a FINCA logo printed dress and cap, Annie happily shared her success story with FINCA’s staff.
In 2003, Annie ran a small ginger juice stall in a market in Kinshasa. One day, a FINCA loan officer approached her and explained how loans could help her business grow. After receiving business training from FINCA, she joined a Village Banking group with other women and received her first loan of $80.
“We decided to embrace FINCA,” she says.
As her business grew, Annie upgraded her small ginger juice stall to a restaurant, offering a diverse menu of cooked dishes. She was also able to afford paying for larger loans and stayed with FINCA over the years. After ten years with FINCA, she received a Certificate of Loyalty, which she proudly displays in a golden picture frame.
“Now I am a big business person,” she says. “I went from an $80 loan to a $4,000 loan. But I want my business to grow bigger.”
Despite her dreams to grow her business, at 60-years-old, Annie is also thinking about her retirement. To diversify her income, she has begun to rent houses on land she owns, and the rental income will help her plan for her retirement as well as grow her restaurant. She has also opened a savings account with FINCA, to keep her retirement funds safe.
This was Annie’s first trip to the United States, one she says she may not have been able to make over a decade ago.
“Thanks to FINCA, I could afford to pay for the tickets to travel to the United States of America.”