Like thousands of Afghans after the collapse of the Taliban regime, Noor Zia lost her job. After working in a beauty parlor in Peshawar, Noor migrated to the capital of Kabul in search of employment, with her husband, daughter, and four teenage sons in tow. As her husband, a tailor by profession, searched for a job, Noor worried about the family’s daily expenses without a steady source of income. She decided to use her limited savings to purchase cosmetics to start a beauty salon at home. At first, she struggled to make enough money, but was determined to provide her children with a solid education.
In 2005, Noor heard about FINCA’s loans for small business owners. She found it intriguing that FINCA made loans available to women like her who were working hard to build small businesses to support their families.
Noor joined FINCA’s solidarity group and invested her first loan of $100 in her business by expanding the inventory of her salon . With the profits, she was able to buy a sewing machine for her husband. After several years of steady growth in her business and additional FINCA loans, Noor opened a beauty salon in the market and hired her first employee.
She was able to finance her children’s education and serve her community by training 70 employees in her beauty salon – her greatest achievement to date!
Her income has increased from $250 to $400 a month. Her daughter got married after graduation, and her sons currently work as tailors. Noor is already planning a bright future for her 7-year-old daughter who is just starting school.
But Noor is not done dreaming. With a steady influx of customers, Noor’s next goal is to rent a larger beauty salon. She also continues to help others in her community by counseling small business owners about FINCA loans and guiding them on the path to achieve their dreams.