Small Loans are microfinance loans distributed to members of the community, through our partners, The Hoja Project. The loans are of 50,000 Tanzanian Shillings (approximately £20) each and are repaid over a period of 6 months. Since the first loans were distributed in 2007, over 3,000 have been distributed. It is estimated that recipients see an increase in income of 50% in the first six months, and this figure continues to grow with their businesses.
Businesses are diverse in nature but similar in success! The success of businesses owes a lot to the training offered to those seeking loans prior to writing business proposals. Businesses so far have included restaurants serving local Tanzanian food, such as ugali (maize porridge) and mandazi (doughnuts made from rice) and shops selling convenience items such as fruit and vegetables, kerosene and even petrol.
Entrepreneurs use the enhanced income from their businesses to enroll their children in school, as well as to meet the needs of their family. Many also reinvest in their business to make it bigger and better!
In future, The Hoja Project is seeking to expand the Small Loans programme into a broader microfinance initiative. This would enable recipients to take loans of differing sizes, to ensure that as many people as possible can benefit from starting their own businesses.