My name is Muthulakshmi, Aged 50 years, I am living with my husband and one daughter at Subramaniyapuram pothai, near Ambasamudram. We don’t have adequate toilet facilities. We usually go outside or near bush area, which was risky during the rainy seasons, also not able to go outside, when dark at night. So, we decided to construct a Toilet and bathroom for our own purpose.
On that time, Mahasemam has introduced a new product, at our area, giving loans with low interest for toilet construction purpose. I conveyed my request, during my center meeting and all the members were agreed and recommended to avail the loan from Mahasemam Trust.
Then I gave an application and got sanctioned the loan amount of Rs.15,000/- Sanitation – Toilet Construction loan. After getting the loan I started to construct the Toilet and bathroom on my land, behind my house. Now my young daughter and aged husband were also using the toilets and bathroom without fear from creatures.
INCOME GENERATING ACTIVITIES (IGP)
Name of the Client: Mrs. KONGILIT RANI. R
Product: FISH SALSES
Center: 149 – Indra Nagar
Loan Availed: Rs.25,000/-
I’m Kongilit Rani.R, aged 50years, not able to study, due to my parents were poor and not able to maintain big family. After my marriage, I have five children, also big family and unable to meet day to day expenditures. I could run my family with one person’s earning. So, I decided to help my family, and ready to sell fish. Then I approached Mahasemam Center meeting, nearby my house, and applied and got loan Rs.25,000/-.
Now I can earn Rs.500/- to Rs.1000/- per day, depends upon the situation, and meet out my family expenditures without any issue. I am repaying the due amount to Mahasemam, without any delay, and happily.
We never forget the timely help of the Staff of Mahasemam and the President. I pray God, to give long life to the organisation and its owners.
Name of the Client: Mrs. THOMMAI INNASI
Product: Pickle Making (Fish & Prawn)
Center: 056 – Vellaipatti
Loan Availed: Rs.25,000/-
My name is Thommai Innasi, aged 45years, interested in making pickles in a different way. So, decided to make pickles by using FISH and PRAWNS. For that I required more money to purchase fishes and packing machineries. I was joined as member in Mahasemam Trust, six years before and now I am the center leader and conducting the center meeting. During that period we got only 7,000-10,000 loan amounts. Due to my big project requirement, I approached and applied Mahasemam Trust.
I repay my dues regularly without any issue and conducting the center meeting promptly, I have got the loan amount of Rs.25,000/- with two year repayment schedule. I was so happy with the loan and purchased equipments and fishes, prawns, dry fishes etc, for my pickle making.
Now I packed the products and selling through varies channels and thus getting more order as well as money. I am also repaying the dues promptly and living peacefully.
Name of the Client: Mrs. ANITHA
Center: 191 – Ground Street
Loan Availed: Rs.15,000/-
I am Anitha, widow, lost my husband and struggled with two kids. After the sudden diminish of my husband, I am unable to meet my day to day expenditures. I have decided to earn money with my own business to fulfill my family expenditures. I know about weaving, which I learnt before my husband’s death.
When I was selling idly, dosa floor (by grinding) and getting small income, after my husband’s death, I decided to earn more money and installed “Handloom” unit at my place with the help of Mahasemam Trust’s loan amount of Rs. 15,000/-.
Now I am earning more money to meet my daily routine and able to give study my children. Now my daughter is going to study in college and son is doing his higher secondary class. We are living happily and peacefully, with the timely help of Mahasemam Trust.
Name of the Client: Mrs. RAJESHWARI
Product: Sound Service (Rental)
Center: 024 – Thattan Vizhai
Loan Availed: Rs.15,000/-
I am Rajeshwari, aged 45 years old, member in Mahasemam Trust for the past seven years. My husband is an electrician and doing electrical work along with lights, serial sets and radio sets as rental basis. We deeply struggled, when the functions were not happened.
We decided to invest more products along with the above. So, we purchase more products like Samyana, carpets, mats, cooking vessels and so on with the help of Mahasemam Trust’s loan amount. Now we got many orders, other than festival time also.
Now I can able to afford to meet my family expenditures as well as my child’s education. My family members were happy and never forget Mahasemam Trust and its staff members for their timely help.
Name of the Client: Mrs. MUTHULAKSHMI
Product: Fruits Stall
Center: 096 – Raman Pudur
Loan Availed: Rs.15,000/-
My name is Muthulakshmi, aged 40 years, lived with my husband and three children peacefully with the help of Mahasemam Trust. I was joined as member four years before, when I was not able to maintain my family with little kids. Earlier my husband was purchased the fruits from the market and sold it on the streets with bicycle.
After I became a Mahasemam Trust, my life style has changed. Now I became owner of my own shop. I got first loan as Rs.7000/- and invested to purchase more fruits. After a year later I came to know a shop is going to giving for rent. Then I got second loan after the first loan was over. I paid the rental advance to the shop and arranged trays and spent interior work.
Then I slowly extended my business to make fruit juices and sarbath and lemon recipes for the customers. So, I can repay the money to Mahasemam on time without delay. Now we are all very happy and thankful to Mahasemam Trust be a part of my family.
Name of the Client: Mrs. KALA
Product: Printing & Binding Press
Center: 074 – Mailadi
Loan Availed: Rs.25,000/-
My name is KALA, aged 44 years and living with my two kids. I was joined as member in Mahasemam in my area, five years before. I joined only to get my business development. My husband was well versed, about printing and binding work. So, I also to support my husband, by assist him, when he was went outside to get orders.
Suddenly, my husband was fell into sick and unable to recover from the bed. After his, diminish, I was fell lost my hands and felt very bad to live without my husband. Then I realized that, to live for my kids.
Then I decided to do the same business, which was left by my husband. I approached, Mahasemam and explained my situation and applied business loan for Rs.25,000/- and also request to repay in two years. They immediately gave approved and sanctioned the loan amount.
In the meanwhile, I also got a sum of Rs.10,000/- insurance amount from Mahasemam Trust for my husband’s death.
I can’t express my words, that, Mahasemam is doing such a wonderful service to the society. Then gave my full participation to Mahasemam and conducted one center on my supervision. I really thankful to Mahasemam and its staff, for their service to the really needy people in the society.
Long live Semam….!
Long live ……!!
Long live ……!!!
Name of the Client: Mrs. SUBBULAKSHMI
Product: Mud Pot
Center: 023 – Karukuruchi
Loan Availed: Rs.10,000/-
I am Subbulakshmi, aged 28 years old, living with my husband and kids. My husband is an artesian, making mud pots and mud vessels. He was studied a course, making vessels in mud clay, at Mahabalipuram sculpture college and not having proper financial support to start his own business.
On that time, I heard about Mahasemam Self Help Group and its activities by helping poor people, especially women, to uplift their life and enlightening the poor family. So, I approached the center leader and explained my family situation.
The center leader and my neighbors were accepted to enroll me as a member in Mahasemam Trust. And then I applied loan and got loan of Rs.10,000/- for my husband to purchase the raw materials to make MUD pots and Mud vessels. Now we are doing own business and my husband also doing his work happily.
We never forget the timely help of Mahasemam, its staff and our center members, who supported me and my family. Now we can stand over own legs. We also were repaying the money at our center meeting on time.
Name of the Client: Mrs. PONNARASI
Product: Snacks Manufacturing
Center: 019 – Karukuruchi
Loan Availed: Rs.15,000/-
I am Ponnarasi, aged 37 years old, manufacturing snacks, like handmade murukku, thattai, athirasam, seedai and etc., nearby bus stand, veeravanallur. After my marriage, I was decided to do anything to support my family.
I know about making snacks and sweets. So, I decided to start own business. On that time I don’t have enough money to start my business. On that time, I heard about Mahasemam through my friends. They lending money with low interest and the weekly repayment methods are very useful to me to choice Mahasemam.
After I joined as a member in Mahasemam, I started to manufacture handmade murukku, seedai, thattai, athirasam and so on. After tasting my nearby neighbors were also interested to join hands with me to do the business development.
Then we started to commercial standard of making handmade items with good quality. My husband looks to marketing my products. Now I can help my family and also giving employment opportunity to my neighbors.
We were jointly together, doing the small business in to a big level. We are really happy, when Mahasemam gives support with financial as well as to market my products at various places. Now I can repay the money by weekly method and participate my center meeting without fail. I am also telling the story to all my friends and relatives. My husband and relatives were appreciating my courage and my business techniques.
Now I can proudly say that, I am an entrepreneur and achieved in my live without forgetting Mahasemam and its employee’s help.
Name of the Client: Mrs. CHANDRA. R
Product: Wood Carving
Center: 065 – Sannathi Street
Loan Availed: Rs.10,000/-
My name is Chandra, aged 46 years, living with two kids and husband. My husband is a carpenter and doing things with wood. He can make any kinds of wood products, but doesn’t have to invest money, because of poor situation. On that time I came to know about Mahasemam, the microfinance company is giving microcredit loans without any security and margin to get loans.
I asked details from my neighbors and relatives, there were several microfinance companies are in the market. How can I identify to get loans with simple method and mode of repayment? They friends and neighbors were explained and it is the only organisation is giving weekly repayment method, which is suitable for us to repay our dues without any issue.
Then I discussed with my family members and my husband, all are satisfied to get loans from Mahasemam and develop our business activities. I got my first loan amount of Rs.10,000-/ without any huddle. My husband purchased machines and raw materials, like wood and colors etc., now we started our own business and getting orders from various clients.
Now we are making children’s wooden walker, wood kitchen sets (kids playing items) which is very special in our South India, especially Tamilnadu, Thottil Kammbu and etc. Now we can able to giving employment opportunity to three more people.
We are able to run our family happily and also able to give proper education to our children. Due to the designing and quality we can able to get orders and earn more money. We can able to repay our dues on weekly basis without any trouble.
My family and relatives were appreciating our achievement and business development. We sincerely thanks to Mahasemam employee and its owner.
Mrs. Jaculin Aged 46 Candle Manufacturing
I am Jaculin, aged 46, living with my husband. I learnt manufacturing candles, before my marriage. We have no children. After a long time, we adopted a female child. I do manufacture the candles and my husband looking the sales.
When I was joined Mahasemam, I got working capital to develop my business in a large scale. I gave job opportunity to my nearby women and taught to making candles. After expanding my business, we got orders from the Church, big size of candles – 5 to 6 feet, to fulfill their prayer / wish.
Now we got regular orders from the people and also from my centre members too. I can easily getting loans from Mahasemam Trust, after repaid my loan with principal and interest. At present I got Rs.18000/- loan to invest more and to expand my business. Thus I can give jobs to my neighbors and co-members.
I sincerely thanks to my field officers and managers for their timely help to develop my business.
Moving Fancy Shop :-
I am Mrs. T. Deivakani, selling fancy items in a small scale level. My husband doing agricultural coolly and getting small income, which can’t met our day to day expenditure. So I decided to start to selling the fancy items like, bangle, sticker bindhis, hair bands, clips, kid’s playing things etc.,
I was not able to invest the initial amount to start the business. On that time, I heard about Mahasemam Trust doing the financial service to the poor people in my village Karumbanoor. So I joined as a member and explained my business activities. The center members were agreed to apply for a loan. Then I apply and got loan Rs.15,000/- from Mahasemam Trust, Kadayam branch. Now I got own moving shop and able to earn Rs.100/- to Rs.200/- per day. With this I can able to manage my family’s day to day expenditure as well as able to repay the weekly due with interest.
Now my family life runs with full of joy and happy. We never forget the timely help from Mahasemam. My family and I will be thankful to our Mahasemam.
Long live Mahasemam. …!
case studies:SANITATION-TOILET CONSTRUCTON
Business: Pottery Making
I am Lakshmi, wife of Muthuramalingam from Tharuvai village in Tirunelveli district. My family and I have been engaged in pottery making for generations. During the last two decades we have gathered a lot of experience in making and designing pottery which enabled us to cater to the demand of rural customers. Therefore, we managed to earn our livelihood. The range for expanding the activity is limited due to its seasonal demand. Besides, the availability of sand is restricted and it is highly priced.
Obtaining permission to acquire the material requires a lengthy process. Neither banks nor the government have plans to support the business and make it sustainable. Mahasemam’s micro credit program, however, helped me to realize my goals. Their low priced collateral free loans come with fewer formalities and, as a result, I could lay the foundation for the growth of my business. We could expand it by offering our goods in many commercial places, weekly markets and rural festival centers. In the following, we were able to sell more pottery and our income has tripled since then.
This enabled us to get our daughter married and to send our son to school. During the last year, our income from pottery making did not fluctuate much. Our son has recently taken a job in a textile show room because he is not planning to continue the business. But due to the fact that we are only in our 50s we want to go on with our traditional business for as long as we live.
"Without the support of Mahasemam Trust we would not have been able to do so. We, therefore, want to thank them with our respect and affection.”"
Business: Making Shoes
I am Kala, 28 years of age and I enrolled with Mahasemam in 2009. My husband who I married in 2006 had been working in various places repairing shoes on the streets. This only provided a very meager income and it was hard to earn our livelihood. We were never free from financial pressure and we struggled hard to serve our basic needs. This is why I was starting to look for a way out of this vicious circle. I have learned from the media that there was financial assistance which made available for SHG members with out collateral. I approached the trust which was operated close to my residence and gathered information on how to become a member myself. With the first small amount borrowed, I invested in a sewing machine and started to repair and make new shoes. Nearby schools and offices were contacted and shoes were made according to their orders and design wishes
The prices quoted were much cheaper than the ones available in big outlets. The business quickly gained momentum and sales were rising steadily. With the support of additional loans of Rs. 10000 and Rs. 15000, we bought two automated sewing and cutting machines. But then, the orders suddenly stopped. Chinese shoes were introduced to the market which cost drastically less than ours. The business was shrinking and we were not able to acquire new orders. My husband then moved to Kerala and Tirupur to secure orders from there but the attempt did not work out. He did not bring back any
It suddenly struck me, “Why not contacting SHGs and families in order to provide foot wear matching exactly their needs?” I started negotiating with members of few groups and the response was very encouraging. They were showing overwhelming interest in the idea and I started designing their models soon afterwards. The shoes were introduced among members of several SHGs with great success. The credit risk was reduced and this new attempt made my business sustainable. The contact ensured regular and steady offers and income.
Now I live in a house which is much better than the one before. I am able to repay my dues for the loan from the income and I opened bank account to deposit the additional revenues. As our income has stabilized during the last months, we are now planning to expand my trade. "This all would not have been possible without the micro credit movement. "
Poornakala, W/O Muthukrishnan from Omanalur village in Tirunelveli has shared her experience with us after getting her second micro credit assistance.
Today I am an entrepreneur in my village running a shop for the sale of provisions and stationery. For the last three years and due to my marriage, the only opportunity to work was as a collie and to roll cigarettes. Before joining Mahasemam, I could see many women engaged in various enterprises as a basis to earn their livelihood. I have gained a sense of motivation and confidence to start my venture and leave my unhygienic employment behind. Soon after I made the decision, I opened a shop where I am selling day-to-day needs which are not accessible in short distance around the village.
A part of the first loan was invested to construct a small tin shed reserving the remaining money as work capital. The second loan was exclusively for provisions and stationery. The sales grew up to an average of Rs. 1500 to Rs. 2000, yielding a profit of Rs. 300 to 400 per day. While I was a coolie, there had been no steady income. Besides, my husband had been unemployed for most of the year and it was very difficult to afford education for our children.
"With the financial assistance provided by Mahasemam, I am now able to sustain my livelihood. My future plan is to increase the volume of my sales by adding new items to the shop. With the spare income, we decided to renovate our house and sanitation. Without Mahasemam this would not have been possible"
I am Thillai easwari W/O Murugan living in Munnirpallam in Tirunelveli. I had been a housemaid in Tirunelveli and my husband had worked in a canteen in Ramnad and Coimbatore for many years. There was no income during vacations and lockouts as the canteen was not in use
On average, the family was able to earn Rs. 4000 per month which was not enough to manage the expenses of our family. Hence, we have decided to start small tea and snack bar, using my husband’s expertise. We borrowed a loan of Rs. 10000 from Mahasemam trust with a contract period of 50 weeks. A year later, with the loan of Rs. 15000, the business was expanded with lunch in the afternoon. A small thatched roof was made to accommodate ten persons inside. I receive regular orders from people who are looking for good food in my neighborhood.
I thought about shifting my business to the city which would have required me to invest a huge amount of money in a very competitive market segment. Therefore, I talked to Mahasemam about constructing a permanent concreted shed. Unfortunately, co-members of mine did not give permission since the limit would have crossed the stipulation. Additionally, higher loans are too hard to sanction for Mahasemam. Hence I was recommended to approach a bank in order to gain financial support which is what I am doing at the moment. Apart from that, I am focusing on the daily business of my restaurant. My family’s income has already reached Rs. 9000 per month.
"Thanks to the women movement and the help of Mahasemam Trust."
Business: Art & Craft
I am Selvi, a widow, living with two children and my mother in Tuticorin. I have studied up to SSLC but due to the lack of support I could not study further after finishing school. During my school days, my favorite subject was art and craft and I have received awards and prizes for my work, e.g. for the best drawings. My mother was a coolie and she earned Rs. 30 to 40 a day which is too meager to take care of her.
I decided to pursue craft as my career in order to sustain our livelihood. I started by making religious pictures with people wearing satin dresses on the pictures. I managed to sell my work to religious and relic centers and could earn steady income from this activity. In order to speed up orders and to increase the business, I borrowed twice from local money lenders but high interest rates barely left any profit. This is why, for the next orders, I was looking for alternative financial support.
A relative of mine advised me to approach Mahasemam Trust. I enrolled in one of their local groups which is situated close to my home. In the last three years, with the recommendation of group members, I had been granted three loans to stabilize my venture. This enabled me to earn an average income of Rs. 8000 to Rs. 10,000 per month. I am now living in a house where four girls are working on the project. I am able to provide education for my two children. I have secured regular orders for Jesus, Marry and Church pictures over the years with constant and steady sales.
"I am really thankful for the financial aid as I do not have to rely on private money lenders any more."
Business: Papad Making
I am Shanthi and I am living in Anuppanadi. I learned how to make Appalam when I was a child. During my school days, I used to help my parents make Appalam while being away from home. This experience helped me when I was looking for a business idea to sustain my livelihood after my marriage. For several years, I managed to engage in this activity and thanks to my husband’s support we could sell them in the nearby market.
Our finances were too meager to further expand my business, so when orders started to grow in size, I wanted my husband to borrow money for short time at a high rate of interest from money lenders. This enabled me to expand on the one hand but on the other hand it only left little profit from our earnings. As a result, the development of my business started to cease and it was hard to repay the borrowed money and to obtain new customers.
At this point, I found out about women who were living nearby and who started their own little enterprises happily with soft loans which they received from micro credit institutions. I then contacted the SHG members and Mahasemam to seek support for my venture. In three years of hard work, I have used the borrowed capital to become a regular contractor to three whole sale dealers who are regularly ordering high quantities of Appalam.
Moreover, I was able to turn my products into a brand and offer them in retailers and restaurants run by hospitals in Madurai. I have got my daughter married to a government employee with 240 grams of gold and another daughter has almost finished her graduation in engineering.
My son is now working as an automobile engineer having graduated with a technical diploma. I was able to make our life very successful. I own two houses in my hometown where it used to be difficult to live. With the additional income from my business I can also support my husband who has developed a drinking problem by using the help of a rehabilitation center.”
Education:she has completed 0 years of school
Business: sells socks, underwear, and children’s clothes
Loan: Rs.3500 ($76 )
When Rabia was widowed she was left with absolutely nothing. Her husband’s family took the house, she had no money saved up, she had no children to support her, and she had never held a job in her life. Nobody would remarry her and she couldn’t go back her family because she would be considered a failure in her village. Rabia lived day by day doing small jobs and most of the time resorted to begging. She was getting two meals a day at the most.
Rabia availed a microfinance loan in mahasemam to sell undergarments and children’s clothes. She now earns between Rs.100 -Rs.165 per day and is able to make ends meet. She has gone from begging and living on the street to having a thatch house, three meals a day, and a steady income. Life is still tough, but things have improved greatly for Rabia.
"I always have food and I don’t have to beg anymore. Begging made me feel like I wasn’t human, people looked down on me. Now I feel like a real person. I want Mahasemam to help others just like it helped me."
Children:one son and one daughter
Business: Tailoring and Garment production
Loan: Rs.5500 ($119)
Uma and her husband were raising a small family solely on her husband’s income. They were able to make ends meet, but life was definitely tough. Uma owned a sewing machine and knew how to sew. With a microfinance loan, Uma thought that she could start a tailoring business.
"Repaying the loan was easy, I paid off the 50 week loan in only 41 weeks. It used to be hard to pay off the money lender. I didn’t have an income before the loan and now I make Rs.2150 per week. I want to take another microfinance loan so I can make more money, but also because it allows me to help others when I employ them.
The women who work for me help support their families with their salary. I pay them Rs.1066 per month. I am awaiting a second loan and I plan to buy two more sewing machines. Then I will be able to hire two more women from the neighborhood. I am happy about what microfinance has done for me. Now my sister and mother have both taken microfinance loans.
She availed a microfinance loan totaling Rs.5500 and set out with her purpose.With the loan she purchased two more sewing machines and hired two poor, unemployed women from the neighborhood to work for her. She began to get contract work from a tailoring shop in the central bazaar. In the morning the shop would drop off garments to be tailored and they would return at night to pick up the finished garments. Now business is so good that Uma and her employees are also making blouses, trousers, and other garments-- she even has her own brand name that she stitches onto her fabrics.
Uma was able to hire two unemployed women from her neighborhood to work at her entrepreneurship
"With our combined income, my husband and I were able to send our son to college. I help my son pay his school fees and I also purchased my daughter’s school uniform and school supplies. She is in a private school now."
My husband supports my business venture; he is a motorcycle salesman. I do not depend on my husband for any form of money. He makes his own money and I make my own. We share money, but we each have our own too. I have also gained personal confidence through earning and spending my own money. If I get another loan I can make even a higher income and give more jobs to more people. Through my business I have learned to manage money, pay my workers, and communicate with the tailoring company that I work with. I keep accounts on my workers about production and salary. I also organize the weekly microfinance center meetings on my rooftop because I have room there.
Divorced-two sons (13 and 2½) and one daughter
Education:Zero years of Education,attended 3 Medical Camps
Business: Fish vendor
Loan: Loan for Fish Sales and two Education Loans
My job was to remove shells from prawns at a nearby shrimp production factory.My rented house was overturned by the tsunami and all my belongings were washed away. The government came and gave me $95 in compensation. The Red Cross and some other organizations gave me vessels and jugs for cooking and for water. I built a small house and now I own that house, but I still have to pay Rs.100 per month as a land-rent fee.
“One year after the tsunami I heard about mahasemam and I took a loan for the future of my children. My work was not steady and I needed financial support. I felt it was a protective move for my family. I used the first loan [Rs.5518] to buy the full-day catches from fishermen in my coastal community."
After Mahasemam LoanI would transport all the fish to the market and sell them to fish vendors; the vendors would then sell the fish to consumers. Sometimes I would sell the fish to consumers too. I kept working at the prawn factory in my spare hours. With the second loan Rs.16555. I was able to clear debts that I had previously taken to support my children and for daily survival.
You see, fishing is seasonal and times get tough, so I had debts to pay. With the remainder I was able to invest into buying more fish. Now I built my income back up to what I had made previous to the tsunami, and the income is more dependable too. I find it difficult to pay the loans, but it is much easier than paying the money lenders, and the transactions are much nicer and less intimidating.
"I am happier now. I feel confident that I can survive through the toughest times. I feel that Mahasemam is a guardian for me and my family and I feel that if I were to pass away that somehow Mahasemam would still look after my children."
Even though it is difficult I have never missed a payment and I have never taken another loan to pay off the microfinance loan. I work from 4am-12 pm and then from 2pm-6pm everyday. I work hard to ensure survival. It is only me who provides for the three kids so I have to work hard.
Married- three sons (18,16,14)
Education:Zero years of Education
Business: Pickled mangoes and Appalam
She has taken four loans:Rs.3339, Rs.5500, and two for Rs.22074
Before the microfinance loans in mahasemam Ankamma and her husband had been making pickled mangoes for ten years. She made and packaged the mangoes and her husband sold and distributed them, they earned Rs.4405 per month. Since taking the loans they have doubled their income and now earn Rs.8811 per month.
They used the loans to purchase more ingredients (mangoes, salt, chili powder, tumeric, oil, and garlic) and to purchase more pickling barrels. They used to have seven barrels and now they have twelve barrels; each barrel holds 200 kgs. of pickled mangoes. Ankamma and her husband also started making and selling appalam on the side. Appalam is a dough that is rolled, dried, and then fried to make food similar to potato chips.
"Things are going well. My oldest son is doing his first year in college and we have not taken any loans for that. It is all paid for with the profits from our family business. We used to go to the government hospital, but now we go to a private hospital and the waiting time is much less. We eat meat once a week, we used to eat meat only once every twenty days. We have also improved our house. It used to be a thatch house and now we have made the walls concrete.”
Children: one son and three daughter
Business: Making Shoes
Loan: Rs.3292 ($71),Rs.7698 ($166),Rs.33111($714)
Renuka and her employees stitch the upper portion of shoes and sell them to a company. The company purchases soles from other producers. The company then combines the two pieces to create a finished product and exports them to Europe. Renuka had always been making shoes, but with a series of microfinance loans she was able to turn a business for survival into a profitable business with five employees.
"Before the loans I was making shoes but it was hard to operate the business because it was difficult to purchase materials. When I sold the shoes to the company they gave me a check, but the check wouldn’t come until two or three days later. Meanwhile, I couldn’t make any more shoes because I couldn’t purchase more materials until the check arrived. There was always a delay in the business because of this. I used to earn Rs.3300 per month before the loans."
After the Loan"Because of the loans I am able to purchase materials when they are needed and I was able to hire workers to help me make the shoes. I have money to pay my workers on the spot. This makes the workers very happy because they need the money too. With the first loan I bought materials and expanded my production. With the next loans I hired workers and I now have five employees; we all make shoes together. I pay each worker Rs.88 per pair of shoes they produce."
I get paid Rs.105 per pair when I sell them to the shoe company. Out of that I give my employee Rs.88, so I earn 48 cents per pair. I am able to pay my workers for their production at the end of each day. I now make between Rs.11037-Rs.13216 per month"
"My standard of living has improved. I used to have nominal food two times a day. Now I get milk, eggs, and sometimes meat, and I always eat three times a day. I regularly visit the doctor for checkups and I am in the process of building a bigger house right now. I will move there in a couple months and then I will rent out my current house. I wasn’t that respected before, but now I have five workers and people look up to me as a businesswoman. I am also responsible for helping friends and other women receive microfinance loans and they really appreciate that."