Sellina Zinyemba

Currently on her ninth loan from MicroLoan and part of the ‘Tunikirane Credit Group’, Sellina runs a busy wedding shop in the region of Dowa. In Malawi, weddings are amazing spectacles and are events that bring the whole community together. Sellina’s shop provides locals with clothes and other accessories which makes sure that they can be at their finest for the festivities.

Her household is equally busy with eight children and a total number of twelve  dependants, and the profits from her business help to support ‘the entire family’.

Sellina took the decision to become involved in business when she realised that the income her husband was generating was not enough to really support everyone that depends upon them. Whilst she had an idea in mind of what business she wanted to pursue, she was wary that she did not have enough capital or business knowledge to begin running a store, and this is why she decided to become involved with MicroLoan.

Since taking her first loan, Sellina’s wedding store has expanded and she is now able to stock a wider range of products which has contributed towards her significantly increasing the profitability of her business. Prior to MicroLoan’s assistance, she made around K20,000 per week, and now Sellina is able to earn an impressive income of K60,000 during peak periods. With her business in such high demand, she has had to seek extra help and now has ‘one employee’. Sellina is careful to mention that this is ‘at the moment’ which suggests that she will be looking to increase her workforce in the future. Such job creation exemplifies how MicroLoan’s efforts can have a significant impact upon communities.

Alongside assisting her community, Sellina is also a caring mother and uses much of the profit to make sure that her family’s basic needs are met as well ‘paying for school fees and hospitals bills’ for her children. She is now able to secure the health, well-being and education of her children which is something that she could not achieve in the past. With this new found ability to sufficiently provide for her family, Sellina is eager to ensure that her children can also live ‘an independent life’ and hopes to help them achieve this by making sure that they are able to attend university as they grow older. University term fees are very high in comparison to average wages within Malawi, and it will be Sellina’s entrepreneurial spirit along with continued help from MicroLoan that will enable her to children to achieve these dreams.

Well-known as a wedding shop owner within Dowa, people seek out Sellina ‘to learn how to do business since others they don’t progress well’. ‘We used to live a difficult life’ she says, but ‘now the living standards of my family have improved tremendously’.