New hope and opportunity came to Nigeria—the world’s eighth most populous nation—with the opening in early December of the first branch of FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd, in Owerri, Imo State. Thousands of low-income men and women are already taking advantage of the FINCA bank’s life-changing loans and secure savings offerings. As many as 100 million people–over 62% of Nigeria’s population—live in extreme poverty, so the need for FINCA’s services is vast.
Eucharia Nwanguma, a now-widowed mother of six children, used to sell yams and peanuts with her late husband in the Onuwa Market in Owerri for. He would travel 14 hours by road to northern Nigeria to purchase yams and peanuts to sell.
When Eucharia’s husband passed away, life became much harder for her and her children. Eucharia closed the business because of its high costs, and started a buka—a small food outlet in the main market. Her oldest son quit school and began working as a keke driver to help support the family (kekes are three wheeler motor tricycles used as taxis). Still, life was a huge struggle for Eucharia and her family.
Eucharia came together with seven women and two men with businesses near hers to share production costs. In December, after they learned about the new FINCA branch in Owerri, they formed a Village Bank and Eucharia was able to borrow $790 through the group’s loan. Within just a few weeks, life has already begun to change dramatically for Eucharia. She has opened a small shop of her own, where she sells yams and groundnuts again, and she has recently started selling drinks and snacks. Thanks to the FINCA loan, Eucharia’s income stream has started increasing and she can better support her family.
FINCA remains inspired by the promise of investing in the world’s poorest entrepreneurs, and giving them a hand up—not a hand out. Nigeria is a unique and growing economy with millions of hardworking entrepreneurial people, and FINCA recognizes their vibrant entrepreneurial spirit and enormous potential.
With your continued support, we will carry on our crucial mission of alleviating poverty and expanding access to financial services in Nigeria and in 22 other countries, fostering sustainable enterprises and helping improve lives.