Deki Loans Boost Confidence, Not Just Business!
We always love meeting our clients in person and seeing how they’re getting on. On a recent trip we met 40 year old Rose, who welcomed us with a friendly smile. Rose lives in her hometown of Nkhata Bay near Usisya, Malawi, is a single mother to five children and looks after several orphans as well as her elderly mother.
Earlier this year, Rose took out a loan of £180 with Deki. She used this loan to purchase flour, cooking oil, rice, sugar and usipa (a small sardine-like fish caught in Lake Malawi). Usipa plays a significant role in the economy of households near Lake Malawi. They are dried and then sold in markets in towns further inland such as Mzuzu, for a large profit.
Before taking out a Deki loan, Rose’s income was limited to what she could earn from small scale farming and trading. She found it difficult to imagine a way out of this cycle of poverty. We spoke to Rose as well as two other women from her loan group and all three women seemed very surprised that they were able to take out a Deki loan and that it could create such positive change in their lives. Most of all they were surprised by the fact that, as women, they could be so successful in business.
The impact that this has had on the women’s self-confidence is truly amazing. Since they have taken out their loans, they have developed enough confidence to not only expand their own businesses but also to think about the future and what kind of business they could invest in next.
Usisya is a beautiful area surrounded by mountains. In order to get to Usisya you can either brave the treacherous road from Mzuzu via motorbike, catch the weekly ferry (if it’s operational) or try to catch a lift in a small boat with a fisherman. In other words, it’s very difficult and often unreliable to get in or out of Usisya. Rose and her friends from her loan group are motivated by their desire to change this. After they’ve repaid their current Deki loans, they are planning to explore the possibility of buying their own boat and operating a much-needed ferry service.
What’s incredible is that this dream exists at all. Taking out Deki loans has given these women a new-found faith in their abilities and entrepreneurial skills. They are willing to work hard to achieve their ambitions. If these women do follow their dreams and start another ferry service to Usisya, we have already told them that we would be proud to be among their first customers!