Women play major roles as farmers and business people; however, many lack financial capability to own land or have access to financing at reasonable interest rates. Recognizing how this limits women’s social impact, Self-Help began a micro-credit program in Ghana (1999) and Nicaragua (2004).
Women that are selected are trained in business and market strategies prior to receiving a business loan. Nearly 4,000 women have participated. Successful businesses include: Palm oil processing, pig and poultry farming, soap making, baking goods, earthenware pottery, and trade. Loans lead to improved nutrition and quality of life for their children which connects back to our feeding projects.
The micro-credit Program provides training and loans averaging $50-250 to increase income and empower women. Marketing strategies and encouraging savings are an integral part of the program. Loans (with interest) are usually 6 to 12 months in duration and are granted to members within women’s groups for income generating projects. Women use their proceeds to enhance the lives of their children. Self-Help boasts 97% return on loans.
Visit our store to support the Micro-Credit Program in Ghana
Number of Loans Distributed for the Micro-Credit Program (1999 - 2011)
“I added a porridge business along with my farming because of a Self-Help loan. My heart is full of joy seeing what I can do for my kids – one completed high school, one finishes next year; and I was able to buy a welding machine for the third to become a welder. I cherish the support I receive from the project.” – Hanna Adjei, Ghana
“My eldest child has just completed teacher training, the second is doing her final teaching practice. The third is in senior high, the next is in junior high and the fifth is at basic level. Without the money from the Self-Help loans, you cannot get clay (for the Afari pottery group). Life would be difficult for me and my family.” – Felicia Berko, Ghana