Written by the Micro Enterprise team
Millicent Kathure is a 54-year-old lady whose strength and determination we are highlighting this month. She is one of the beneficiaries of the HopeCore Micro lending program and we are proud to share her successes.
Millicent is married to Mr. Jiaford Kinyua Bundi and together they are blessed with eight wonderful children. They reside in Nkiriambu, a small village in Maara sub-county.
Millicent was passionate about getting education but unfortunately due to crippling financial challenges in her family, she never completed her primary school.
Millicent’s financial challenges were carried on to her family. Neither her nor her husband had a stable source of income as she was a casual laborer making less than 1 dollar a day while her husband ferried milk using a bicycle to milk selling centers. This situation made it really difficult to put food on the table and meet other basic needs of her large family. Due to these financial constraints, five of her children could not access basic education. In 2012, prior to her loan, Millicent’s monthly income was KES 2,000 (USD 20).
In 2012, she decided to join Arithi 2 Self-Help Group to try to improve her financial situation. Once the group became acquainted with HopeCore’s Micro Enterprise program, the Micro Enterprise team started educating the group about viable and alternative businesses they could get involved in and how members could invest smartly in order to better their lives. The group’s efforts and dedication soon paid off as they received a Soft Loan of KES 30,000 (300 USD) courtesy of Village HopeCore international in June 2013. After two years of training and empowerment, the group received a normal loan of KES 360,000 (USD 3600) with each member receiving an individual amount of KES 30,000 (USD 300). Millicent used her loan to expand her tea farming passion by purchasing(leasing )1,000 tea bushes to add to her existing bushes. Her monthly income increased from KES 2,000 to KES12,500 registering a 16% positive improvement in income levels and an increase of KES 80,000 (USD 800) annually.
With her increased income, she bought a dairy cow from which she earned a monthly income of KES 16,500 (USD 165).
She also purchased a motor bike which her husband would now use to ferry milk to selling centers. The motor bike enabled him to transport more milk leading to a higher income for the homestead. With both their incomes being substantially higher, she was able to give her children what they could not afford previously: education. For Millicent, this is her greatest joy.
After two years of repaying the loan, the group was considered for a second loan which they received on 16th April 2015.The group received a loan of KES 360,000 (USD 3,600) and each member of the group received KES 30,000 (USD 300). Millicent used her loan to expand her dairy business by constructing a modern zero grazing unit. This increased her monthly income to KES 25,000 (USD 250). Currently, Millicent has three dairy cows and a very vibrant tea farm.
Over the course of a 5 year period, Millicent’s annual income rose from KES 24,000 (USD 240) to KES 300,000 (USD 3,000).
With her increased income, in addition to expanding her businesses, Millicent was able to install electricity in her home, construct a stone house for her family, and is currently educating three of her children without any financial struggles.
Millicent says that she intends to continue to fully utilize the knowledge and education that HopeCore imparted her. She plans on being a very successful business woman and be an inspiration to other women struggling financially in her locality .
She is very thankful to HopeCore for its efforts to improve her life and that of her family.