An approach to inclusive development that is changing lives all over Africa.
In the UK we take access to savings, credit, deposits and insurance for granted, but in parts of Africa, many people living in rural and remote communities have no access to these services to invest in their own futures.
With little or no documentation such as birth certificates or property title deeds, it is difficult for individuals to prove their identity or the ownership of assets to put forward as collateral. A lack of infrastructure and the presence of corruption has led to safe and legitimate financial services being few and far between.
At Village Aid, our community-led approach allows us to develop tailored techniques to lift families up out of poverty.
We work with individuals and the wider community to establish viable and robust business plans. We respond to community needs and gaps in the market and we support young entrepreneurs with skills training and financial management.
We are also able to offer small start-up loans through a micro finance system. These loans are low interest and repayable to the community bank. The micro finance group is independent, sustainable and generates income from the interest and transaction fees.
Through our partnership with Concern Universal (currently re-branding as United Purpose) we can upscale the use of microfinance in communities and broaden our impact throughout West Africa. The people we reach are now more confident and prepared to start their own businesses, earn a sustainable income and ultimately provide shelter, food and education to their families.
Meet Ostin Chintudula Nkhoma, a father of three who lives in the Gambia. He struggled to attend school because it was 10km away from his home and separated by a large river which didn’t have a bridge. Although he completed education his results were not good enough for him to go to college and learn a trade.
Our microfinance scheme provided Ostin with a small loan and essential training on how to run a business successfully, including how to save and forecast demand in order to plan production. He started a tinsmith business and now makes between 50 and 200 hoes per day. Thanks to the training he received he can re-invest in his business and still make a profit to provide for his family. He has already furnished his house, purchased a bicycle, a plot of land to build another house and still has enough profit to purchase seeds, enabling him to grow enough food for his family for a whole year.