Margaret+portrait-120x180Margaret is a very smartly dressed lady. Her customers would expect no less, because Margaret’s business is selling second hand clothing. The dresses, shirts, coats and other garments come in to Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, from all over the world. Once a fortnight, Margaret travels to Lilongwe to replenish her stock, and then travels around local village markets selling the clothes on. Margaret’s business was made possible 6 years ago, when she first started working with MicroLoan.

Like other women we support, Margaret has a real entrepreneurial spirit. As Malawi experiences very heavy rains for several months of the year, making it almost impossible to travel, Margaret has set up a second business thanks to additional loans from MicroLoan. Margaret’s second business is a small grocery shop near her home, where she sells charcoal, tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables. By diversifying her income in this way, Margaret is protecting herself and her 4 children, providing the best opportunity to live a sustainable life free from difficulty. This is the kind of business knowledge that MicroLoan clients are taught as part of their ongoing training and mentoring. It proves invaluable.

But not even 2 businesses are enough for Margaret. Using the profits from her businesses, she has started building small houses on the land surrounding her home. Margaret rents out 4 of the houses she has built, bringing in over £21 per month. This would never have been possible without MicroLoan’s support.

When you add in the ducks, chickens and pigs that she keeps for eating and selling, you can see how well established Margaret really is.