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Opportunity Tanzania is Listening to Microfinance Clients and Growing

By Diane Ferguson

Opportunity Tanzania achieved strong growth during 2011. As of September 30th, Opportunity Tanzania was serving 5,705 microentrepreneurs with loans, reflecting an 84% growth in just nine months, having begun 2011 with 3,093 clients.

Opportunity client Joyce Williamson sells produce in a market in Mwanga, Tanzania.Entrepreneurs like produce seller Joyce Williamson (pictured) are using loans to improve their businesses and generate more income for their families.

More about Joyce

Joyce is the chairperson of the Upendo Mwanga Trust Group in Mwanga, and a mother of four who goes to two markets in nearby Moshi twice a week to purchase her produce stock and sell it locally. She knew that to meet her family’s needs she would need to expand, but without access to capital she found it impossible. Now, through a small loan, she’s been able to increase her inventory, making larger purchases at lower costs, increasing her profit margin. In the future she hopes to expand her business further by investing in a new structure and she says for the first time ever she’s confident that she can send all four of her children to school.

This year, Opportunity Malawi’s transformation officer helped Opportunity Tanzania conduct a survey of clients in its Arusha and Moshi branches to determine the needs of those we seek to serve.

What did we learn? Among the many important findings we learned that Opportunity Tanzania’s clients are among those who live below the poverty line, and are not always able to afford enough food for the family…

  • 47% have 3 meals per day
  • 32% have 2 meals per day
  • 21% have 1 meal per day

The good news? Marginalized Tanzanian families state that Opportunity is making a difference for them. Since they started accessing microfinance loans through Opportunity Tanzania…

  • 80% feel their lives have improved greatly
  • 7% feel their lives have improved moderately
  • 13% feel they are still struggling

Opportunity Tanzania is committed to meeting its goals of expanding outreach to the most impoverished families in the country. It’s possible through the partnership of Opportunity International contributors like you.

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