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3 Clients You Should Know

By Diane Ferguson

Meet Said Busesire, a plantain farmer in Uganda.

Each day Said Busesire follows the same routine. Just after midnight he starts the 15 km journey to Mbarara, the nearest big town, pushing plaintains through the darkness on his bike. In Mbarara, he sells his harvest to hotels where he has earned a reputation for timeliness and honest pricing. Later in the day he makes another round-trip journey to sell a second load of bananas at the market. When he finally returns home, Said works his land, preparing tomorrow's offering. 

Said credits his success to the training and friendships he has built with his Opportunity Trust Group. He used his first loans to purchase a plot of land which, thanks to Opportunity-led agricultural training and hard work, has grown to 1.5 acres. His growing plot allows him to keep up with his family's needs, including nutrition, school fees and money set aside for the future. He recently improved the roof of his home, and is working to build a strengthened brick house for his family. 

Meet Brenda Ngwira, a shop owner in Malawi.

Brenda Ngwira first approched Opportunity Malawi back in 2008, investing her first loan of $167 to launch her very own business selling tomatoes in front of her modest shelter in Mzuzu. She has invested a series of loans, transforming her cart into a small shop. Her most recent loan was for $534. Over time, Brenda diversified her business to add fish, attracting more customers. Brenda says she especially appreciates the training she receives from her loan and transformation officer. 

Today, Brenda is enjoying the safety and convenience of Opportunity Malawi's Bank M'manja. She stays on top of her business, managing her account with a few quick SMS functions on her cell phone while keeping a watchful eye on her shop. 

Brenda is thrilled to show off the small home she built using the savings she accrued as her business became profitable. 

Meet Jayanthi, an Opportunity client who became a loan officer in India.

Jayanthi was left with the difficult task of finding a way to raise her two daughters in Chennai, India, when her husband died after a tsunami struck their home city. She struggled to find a new profession, learning to sew and use a computer while working two jobs to make ends meet. Things started to look up when a friend told her about Opportunity International. As a client, Jayanthi's loan officer quickly recognized her entrepreneurial skills, and before long Opportunity offered her much more than a loan. We offered her a job. Without thinking twice, she said yes.

Jayanthi accepted the job offer to become an Opportunity India loan officer overseeing small loans and businesspeople like herself. Jayanthi received leadership development training and before long she was conducting training programs on a variety of business and life skills topics. She provides leadership trianing to women in her community and leads weekly Trust Group meetings. Today, she works with hundreds of clients, helping them launch or expand their businesses. She has led dozens of support groups. As a result of her hard work, she has earned enough to keep her daughters in school and in a comfortable home. Perhpas the most important achievement to Jayanthi is that she has won the admiration of her daughters who are proud of their mother's leadership and success. 

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