Listen today! BBC Radio 2‘s Jeremy Vine interviews Nick Lea, development economist and an Opportunity trustee, and Lydia Baffour Awuah, head of Africa programs at Opportunity UK. Recording of interview is only available until 2:02 p.m. GMT+1 on Tuesday, Aug. 30th (9:02 a.m. EST in the United States). Listen to the 10-minute interview by clicking here. ** (The interview runs 34:09-44:44.)
Lydia Baffour Awuah
Lydia shares that over 20 years ago her mother got her first microloan, investing it in a business selling foodstuffs and clothing in Ghana. She then used her profits to give Lydia an education, though she didn’t have the chance to go to school herself. In turn, Lydia was able to help provide the rest of her siblings with an education. She states, “When you empower people with a little money, they are able to invest it into their children’s educations, and that is one of the best ways to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.”
Nick discusses the value of Opportunity’s savings accounts to our microfinance clients in Malawi. He and Lydia also explain the concept of Trust Groups, which are self-selected groups of 10-30 entrepreneurs, usually women, who join together, pledging to guarantee each other’s loans and support one another’s businesses. Because collateral is not necessary in the Trust Group model, it enables people to access credit who have been previously locked out of formal financial services. This model, says Nick, “turbo-charges entrepreneurs,” whose success then leads to the growth and development of the entire community. “When they are helped,” Nick says, “they help everyone else.”
Listen to the full interview at bbc.co.uk by clicking here. Interview will be available from BBC Radio 2 only through Tuesday, Aug. 30th at 2:02 p.m. GMT+1 (9:02 a.m. EST), so do not miss your chance to listen in now.