#CUinAfrica - Kpandai Microfinance Women Empowerment, A story

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Today we has a huge honour and pleasure of meeting a few women who have benefited from Microfinance loan program offered by their local Kpandai Credit Union. This is one way local credit unions here in Ghana empower women. Microfinance institutions are identified to be one of the key players in the financial industry that have positively affected peoples lives, their families, communities and the economy at large through the services they offer and the functions they perform in the economy.
  Miriam and I had a pleasure of talking to few women who were able to apply and get a loan in order to improve their lives. 

These are their stories:
This is Madam Lydia Faram  (R) and her apprentice Julliette (L).  Lydia started as an apprentice seamstress and she wanted to start her own business and open her own store.   She wanted to be her own boss and craved freedom to run the business the way she dreamed of. Two years ago, thanks to having access to a Microfinance loan from Kpandai, she was able to realize her dream of establishing her business in her own community. It has grown big enough that she is able to employ an apprentice. The opportunity to have this loan has helped her get an individual account at Kpandai Credit Union, and she is now better equipped to support her 3 year old son and herself. She is proud that she is able to contribute back to her local economy. She has also been able to help her family, and support putting her sister through school.

This is Madam Rabika Alidu. She ran a small stand selling phone minute cards.  Then her husband passed away suddenly, and she needed away to provide for her family.  The only way she could think of was to expand her business. Rabika joined a microfinance women group and they were able to access funds from Kpandai Credit Union and the group got a Microfinance loan.  Rabika expanded her business. She kept her small stand with phone cards but diversified her business into a little grocery store. She is now able to support her family and pay for her kids education. The microfinance program helped her stand on her feet and improve her life, and her families lives.

This is Madam Memuna Alhassan. She owns and runs a hair salon. Along with seven other women they approached Kpandai Credit Union and applied for a microfinance loan to expand their businesses. Madam Memuna, in addition to the salon, now sells women’s clothing. This group of women has utilized this amazing micro credit product offered by their local credit union to improve their lives and provide stability for them and their families.   Mumuna gives back and spreads the message of how Kpandai Credit Union helped them by reaching out to other women and telling them of her success and encouraging them to join their microfinance group. They too will eventually be able to get their own loans and employ more women.

All of the women we met had a powerful story to share; one thing we were certain about by end of the day is it that their local credit union Microfinance loans have had an impact on their lives. Sahada Alhassan said " Credit Union are helping us (Microfinance) members grow our business and our families, so Thank you" 
Pictured above: Madam Sulamana Rahina and a customer

Madam Yaw Gifcy - A small 200GHC helped her start a business selling kenkey. Gifcy is still part of the Microfinance program and hopes to graduate to an individual account with her credit union in the near future. 
Madam Nyinfar Beatrice - She sold clothes from a tray by walking around the market. Having access to basic financial needs helped her expand her business. She is pictured here in her store selling cloths at the local market.
Juliana - She wanted a better future for her daughter and she needed financial help to grow her business. She sells metal dishes at the market. She was able to expand her business enough to afford to send her daughter to school to become a teacher. 
Emilia Yane (top) and Kande Abukarim (bottom) each own a spice shop they were able to start and expand with help of their credit unions. 

Empowering women is smart economics - not sure where I read that but I wholeheartedly agree. Empowering women to have access to basic financial needs helps the lives of women and girls around the world improve dramatically. So please share their stories, talk about it, because every little bit helps make a difference and move that scale of equality.