Najma, the cycle repair shop owner
Najma did not know life could change so much for the better, even after the age of 40. As she works alongside her husband in their new cycle repair shop, she feels extremely proud of her capabilities and her newfound role as entrepreneur.
From unpaid housework to respected entrepreneur
Najma joined the Self-Help Group in her village where she found that she was part of a community of women who spoke about common problems and who encouraged each other. She learnt about regular savings, basic accounting and the power of loans. She was given enterprise development and vocational training.
First, the group was allowed to lend money internally. When their repayment record was established and their training complete, they became eligible for external loans, facilitated by Hand in Hand.
Najma found the confidence to ask for an INR 12,000 (US $200) loan, which she used to set up a cycle shop. She purchased spare parts and basic tools for cycle repair. She knew she could do good business with villagers wanting spares and repairs all the time.
“It feels good to be able to earn some money”
A brighter future
Her earnings have helped her family raise its standard of living. It has also made a big difference to her status in the family and in society. Najma feels proud that she can sign papers and manage the finances of the business so well.
She expects to repay the loan soon with the income from the shop and, in fact, plans to take another loan to upgrade the business. Najma has successfully made the transition from unpaid housework to respected entrepreneur.
Next case study: Meet Gloria, the former refugee growing crops – and profits