Annie Malikizi remained in formal education until the age of 21 which is rare for women in her community as many families are unable to pay for school fees and the education of boys is often prioritised.
A year after she left education, Annie was married and welcoming her first child. She and her husband now have four children, including one adopted child. Over time, the family of six could no longer survive solely on her husband’s income and eventually they started to fall behind on school fees and had to frequently miss meals.
Annie’s ambition is to ensure her children complete their education and grow up to have the skills and tools to live a healthy and sustainable life. Annie started a business selling basic groceries such as fruit and vegetables. Sales were slow and without the capital to make improvements and meet local demand she began to operate at a loss. Nsanje is a region with high poverty rates and many women live without the infrastructure and resources to support their ambitions. Geographically isolated, traditional banks are not readily accessible, and even someone with Annie’s educational background may struggle to access affordable credit.
Introduced to MicroLoan by a friend, Annie seized the opportunity to learn financial literacy and business skills. She used her loan to diversify her products to meet local demand, and attributes her business success to re-investing her profits. After her first loan cycle with MicroLoan, Annie was making a weekly profit of MWK3,000.
Annie now dreams of opening a wholesale, selling a range of products from produce to household items like pots and pans.