Growing with FINCA: Prossy Nalule
Prossy Nalule is a successful entrepreneur and a community leader in Kampala, Uganda. But for this single mother of two, the journey to economic independence was long and full of ups and downs. After leaving her village 14 years ago, she was determined to build a successful beauty salon business in Kampala. The only supplies she had at the time were a chair, a liter of shampoo, and two jars of hair relaxer. But Prossy also had an intangible asset—lots of ambition! So, when she learned about FINCA, she didn’t hesitate to reach out for help.
I told FINCA the truth, that I don’t have anything, but I want to start a business. FINCA welcomed me. I did not have any collateral or a guarantor. I got my first FINCA loan for 300,000 shillings [about $175 at the time].
Prossy qualified for that first loan as part of a Village Banking ™ group that had 50 members. With the loan, she opened her salon. It’s a small space, no bigger than 400 square feet in a building made of cinder blocks. There’s a concrete floor and a tin roof, but no windows, just a sliding steel front door that opens onto the dirt side street. The salon has only plastic garden chairs, a couple of standing hair dryers typically found in salons, and a whole wall of hair beauty products.
Sharing the Fruits of Growing with FINCA
Despite the modest space and facilities, Prossy has slowly grown her business. She has even been able to employ two women from her community. In addition, Prossy empowers young women in the community by training them on how to do hair. Many of the trainees have gone on to start their own salons.
With additional help from FINCA, Prossy has started another business–a cattle farm. Prossy’s dream is to grow her little farm into a thriving agricultural business. She now owns 20 cows and plans to purchase more land to grow corn and other crops.
Last year, Prossy received her first individual loan in the amount of 15 million shillings (about $3,600), which she used to expand her farm. And while she no longer needs to be part of the Village Banking group to qualify for loans, Prossy remains connected to the group that she joined over a decade ago. She told us that the group asked her to stay on as the Chairperson. “The other members are afraid that the group will collapse without me. (Laughs) I am the motivator and disciplinarian.”