Friday, January 27, 2012

Passport Series: Tanzania: Part 3: A Borrower Tells Her Story

Our Field Partner, Tujijenge Tanzania Ltd., just shared with us an inspiring success story of one of their borrowers. Her name is Mwanaisha Katunzi and she recently spoke with Tujijenge staff about her experiences as an entrepreneur. We are delighted to share her story here with the Kiva Community.

Mwanaisha Katunzi in her store in Bunda District, Tanzania. Photo Credit: Tujijenge Tanzania Ltd.

Mwanaisha Katunzi has been a Tujijenge borrower since 2010. She lives in the Bunda District which is in Mara Region of Tanzania. She is 48 years of age and is married with 2 children who are in secondary school. Mwanaisha explained how she decided to become an entrepreneur;
“My husband is also a micro entrepreneur, he owns a used television shop. He buys them in Zanzibar and sells them here at Bunda. I realized that the money my husband makes does not meet family needs so I decided rather than depending fully on his income, I had better engage myself in small businesses to support my husband and so together confront life’s hardships.”

 In 2008, Mwanaisha started a tailoring business;
“In my neighborhood, I always saw groups of small entrepreneurs like me gathering for weekly meetings, so I was interested. They would always look contented and not troubled with their business capital. I asked what the group was up to and they told me about Tujijenge Tanzania and its loans which I found had affordable loan conditions. I immediately joined the Songambele group."

Mwanaisha’s sewing machines - Photo Credit: Tujijenge Tanzania

Mwanaisha with some of her creations - Photo Credit: Tujijenge Tanzania Ltd.

Mwanaisha says she feels that becoming a Tujijenge borrower has had a very positive impact on her business and her family's life;
"The loans I have taken from Tujijenge have helped me a big deal. Together we are able to pay school fees for our two children and meet all our needs. Since I joined Tujijenge it has now been possible for me to purchase more rolls of fabric, vitenge, blankets and other equipments I use for sewing and my shop and I can boast that my shop never runs out of stock. I have one employee, a boy who helps me selling the clothes I make in the local market where I earn more profit. For example, I would always sell a blanket for 4,000 shillings from my shop here but when I take it to the market, it would go for 5,000 shillings. Therefore, I have scheduled my week such that on Tuesdays and Sundays I do not open the shop and I sell my products at the local market thoroughly. I want my shop to be full of stock all the time, I want to purchase a big closet for keeping my customers’ clothes, I also plan to purchase an over lock machine because I would always rent one from my competitors. I have so many dreams for my shop.”

Thank you Mwanaisha for sharing your story with us! To learn more about the amazing work of Tujijenge Tanzania check out their Kiva Partner page and website!