Saudatu Gets a Second Chance at Doing Business

By Lydia Adomako – Micro-Credit Program Officer

Saudatu in her shop.

45-year-old Saudatu is a mother of six from Beposo, a small community in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. She is a business owner and a farmer, and she owns both a cocoa farm and a cattle herd. In 2010, she was introduced to Self-Help International’s micro-credit program by some of her friends in Beposo. Prior to joining the program, she was a shop owner and was doing well.

‘’My friends practically forced me to join the program,” Saudatu said. “My business was doing well before I joined, and they convinced me to attend the micro-credit meetings not for the money but for the training Self-Help provided.”

“The first training I attended was about savings. I was impressed, but I didn’t pay the training any mind until I started losing everything due to mismanagement,” Saudatu said.

Life became difficult for Saudatu and her family as her debtors started chasing her for money.

“Some of the items in my shop were on credit which I settled after selling, and since I couldn’t settle on time, creditors stopped supplying and demanded their unpaid monies,” Saudatu explained.

Saudatu remembered the training from Self-Help and reached back out to the staff for support.

“I gathered myself together and approached Self-Help for support. This time, I was eager to go through all of the different business lessons Self-Help provided before I accessed my first loan of GhC 100,” Saudatu said.

“I started out carrying the few items I could [from] house to house and community to community,” Saudatu continued. “I also improved my savings habit and attempted keeping records of my sales and my profits. It took me more than a year to start selling in my shop again”

As of June 2021, Saudatu’s situation has greatly improved thanks to her attendance at Self-Help’s business development training sessions.

“I always wanted to send my children, especially the girls, to school. When I ran into those problems with the debtors, I thought it was over,” Saudatu said. “But, thanks to Self-Help, one of my girls just completed nursing school and two others have also completed Senior High School and are awaiting their results.”

“I have been raising cattle for some time now, and I have started selling some in preparation towards the girls’ college education,” Saudatu said. “ I  also started a cocoa farm that has started producing pods. The list is never ending and as you can see now, my shop is full again!”

There are other women like Saudatu who are in need of guidance on how to manage and sustain their businesses, to venture into new markets, and to manage their loans and save effectively. We are grateful for your continuous support of our programs and activities. Let’s continue to alleviate hunger by helping people help themselves!