Azuma is a petty trader in the Aka-esitaaba credit association in the Nyariga Central community of the Bongo District in the Upper East Region. She is married with two (2) kids both of whom are in primary school. She is in her 4th cycle with a current loan of GHS 700 ($315). Azuma narrates how the WPF supported credit program has made her financially independent in her family.
“I was selling only slippers through door to door sales within Nyariga communities. This was not given me enough returns because my capital was small and my business was just one. This was a problem because I did not see other opportunities around me and I did not have any other source of funds to expand my business. My whole life depended on the little money I received occasionally from my husband to support the children’s upkeep. I was becoming a burden on my family.
Thus, when Grameen Ghana entered Nyariga, I saw a great opportunity to make a difference in my business. I joined Aka-esitaaba credit association and took a loan of GHS 300 to increase my stock of slippers. Then I learned from my credit officer and colleagues that business diversification and creation of business location was very good for my category of trade. This new knowledge encouraged me to acquire a stand at Nyariga market where I do my sales. I also decided to market my location by informing my clients about it during my door to door sales. I also used my loan to buy more bundles of the slippers on whole sale so I could sell at the same price as those in Bolgatanga market. This gave me a competitive advantage over other sellers and thus increased my clients significantly. Now that I have a sitting place at the market, I have decided to introduce other products such as dresses for children, women and men. With increased number of clients, my goods move faster and my profit has more than doubled.
Now my life has significantly transformed as I have gained financial independence through the support of WPF and Grameen Ghana. I now take care of all my needs and that of my children even without any support from my husband who lives far away from Nyariga. I just completed my own bedroom and I have overcome the inconvenience of living in my old lady’s room with all the kids. I have registered and paid the premium of my children and myself with the National Health Insurance Scheme.
My plan is to build a container store at the Nyariga market and grow my business to a very big one in the very near future. This I can do well with the continuous support from Grameen Ghana and WPF. I would only hope that your organizations would be able to support me with bigger loan to make my dream come true.
My thanks and prayer to WPF and Grameen Ghana to continue to touch the lives of poor people especially women like us. This is the only way we can become financially independent and respectful in our homes and communities.