As part of our EmpowerHer Campaign this year, we are welcoming guest bloggers to join our celebration of female empowerment. This contribution is from Hannah Martin, Founder and Director of Talented Ladies Club.
As a former single mum, I know what a precious financial lifeline running your own business can be. But I’ll never know what it’s like to not be able to put food on the table for my family. Or not be able to afford to give my children an education.
Even at my most desperate as a single mother in the UK, I have always been luckier, wealthier and had more options than a mother in sub-Saharan Africa. Many of these women survive on as little as £1 a day, which doesn’t even buy them the basic necessities. They struggle to feed their families and can’t afford medicine or even basic healthcare if they fall ill.
Can you imagine having a sick child and not be able to pay for medication or treatment? I know I don’t want to imagine a world in which mothers live with that dilemma. But that’s exactly what is happening right now.
That’s why the work of organisations like the MicroLoan Foundation is so important. They seek out women who are stuck living in a cycle of poverty in rural sub-Saharan Africa and give them small loans and ongoing business training.
This is used to start small businesses that help the women to become self-sufficient. Over time, these businesses help women to get food security, better housing, access to healthcare, and an education for their children. All things we often take for granted in the UK.
MicroLoan works exclusively with women because they believe that is the best way to transform the lives of the most people. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Women reinvest 90% of every dollar earned into their families’ education, health and nutrition.” Women are also more likely to repay their loans, enabling the charity to lend to even more women – and change even more lives and communities.
Since 2002 MicroLoan has supported over 240,000 women, and an estimated 960,000 children in their care have benefited from increased access to healthcare, education and nutrition. In total, 1.2 million lives have been reached.
I started Talented Ladies Club back in 2013 with a mission to change the lives of mothers for the better, and inspire and empower them to achieve their potential. Today our articles, stories and training have helped millions of women all around the world.
I can’t think of a better way to further fulfil our mission than to support the MicroLoan Foundation’s EmpowerHer campaign – and enable them to transform the lives of even more women and their families. And I know MicroLoan would welcome support from other businesses who would like to give back in some way, and help make the world a fairer, better place for everyone.