The loan let me become self-reliant.
These words of Mama Kapu, a FINCA client in Tanzania, ring true for the millions of women entrepreneurs who have followed their dreams, grown their businesses and improved lives, with the help of access to financial services.
Mama Kapu’s journey as an entrepreneur began as a food vendor in 1999, in Tabata in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. After 12 years of supporting her two children through her business, she faced a setback. Her landlord increased her rent and she could not afford to stay at that location. She also longed to have a restaurant of her own, on her own land.
In 2011, with the help of a FINCA loan, Mama Kapu’s dream became a reality. She was able to purchase a small plot of land and build a restaurant on it, serving breakfast and lunch daily. Mama Kapu started with just one employee. As the business grew, she was able to hire five female employees, most who relied on Mama Kapu’s business to feed, clothe and school their own children.
“When I got a job at Mama Kapu’s restaurant, I thanked God,” Amina, one of Mama Kapu’s employees says. “I am a widow and have two children to look after. Getting a job is so difficult.”
As Mama Kapu continues to help the women working with her, she is also saving funds to improve the restaurant with running water and electricity.
Mama Kapu and her family of employees are just one example of the positive power of investing in women. When woman are empowered to work and create their own businesses – through access to finance, education, markets – the talent of half of the world’s population are unleashed; impacting families, communities and local economies.