Margaret Butao

There are an estimated 980 million unbanked women in sub-Saharan Africa.

Without access to funds or employment women and girls become even more vulnerable to the consequences of poverty.

MicroLoan works specifically to support women and empower them as business owners. By providing financial literacy training, business mentoring and capital these women can start their own businesses, providing them with the opportunity to work their own way out of poverty.

Margaret’s story

Margaret is one of our clients from Malawi. She lives in a small village on the outskirts of Kasungu with her family. Employment opportunities are limited and prior to joining a MicroLoan group Margaret relied on subsistence farming to feed her family. If she was lucky enough to have a plentiful harvest she sold her extra produce to earn income. This was not a reliable way to provide for her family and she often struggled to meet their needs. Margaret’s struggles intensified when her sister unexpectedly passed away and she became the guardian of her young niece. Over night she went from being a parent of four to a being the sole parent of five and carer of  her elderly parents.

Shortly after the death of her sister, Margaret’s eldest daughter married a man from a different village and moved away. Margaret had lost her sister, and now was in a position where she could not see her daughter. She did not earn enough to afford the transport to travel outside of her village.

“I didn’t know when I would next be able to see my daughter.”

Becoming an entrepreneur

Margaret joined a MicroLoan group and used her loan to buy and sell beans and dried fish. She started a business so she could gain more control over her finances and begin saving. With a more reliable income she is able to provide regular nutritious meals for her children and send them to school. Balancing life as a business woman and mother whilst navigating through the complexities of poverty doesn’t come without its challenges, but Margaret is now in a much stronger position to support her family. Margaret is most thankful for is that this business is giving her the opportunity to reconnect with her oldest daughter.

“Thanks to the income from my business I will be able to pay for the transport needed to visit my daughter.”

Transform lives this Season of Giving 

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