Memory Mdhlovu

Living in rural poverty meant that employment opportunities for Memory and her husband were limited.

They often struggled to meet their basic needs and provide for their three children. Their only source of income came from the occasional farm work Memory’s husband was able to secure.

Initially, Memory sought to join a MicroLoan group so she could start a business to financially support her family and reduce the strain on her husband. They had dreams of sending their children to college and university and hoped a new business would put them on the right path to achieve this. After Memory completed her market research training, she identified a gap in the market to provide vegetables and other fresh produce to people in her community. She decided to set up a grocery stall in her village. But what started as an opportunity to relieve the pressure on her husband soon turned into the only way Memory could provide for her children.

Overcoming a loss

When her husband died suddenly, the dreams they had for their children became seemingly unreachable. As a widow, Memory used her loans and training from MicroLoan to support and provide for her children as they dealt with the loss of their father. She was now the sole provider and feared she was about to lose the only home her family had ever known. Lack of inheritance rights often forces widowed women to leave their homes, start over, and move back in with their parents or other relatives. As Memory had already taken steps to become financially independent, her business meant the family had security that many others don’t. They were able to remain in their home, and Memory could focus on making her business successful so the dreams she and her husband had for their children could remain within reach.

It has now been six years since Memory received her first loan from MicroLoan, in that time her grocery business has grown and her weekly profits have more than doubled.

“My business has allowed me to remain strong after my husband’s death. My children were able to complete school and they are now in college.”

Memory’s business provides her with the income she needs to cope as the sole provider for her family. She has been able to save to renovate her house so that her children have a safe place to live. Looking to the future, Memory hopes to continue to grow and diversify her business to buy and sell clothes as well as groceries. She hopes this will provide her with the income and savings needed to achieve the dream of sending her children to university.

Your generosity is what allows us to work with women like Memory. When you support MicroLoan you aren’t just helping women start a business, you are providing them with the opportunity to gain financial independence so they can transform their own lives.

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