Lydia Muluti runs a stall in her local village market in Kalomo District, and hopes that her success will allow her to provide her family with a brighter future.
Lydia left school when she was 20 years old and had her first child at 23. Now the widowed mother of four children aged 10, 12, 15 and 19, she is the sole provider for her household and is financially responsible for her three youngest children.
When she first decided to start up a micro-enterprise, Eve conducted research and determined that a stall selling groundnuts, brooms, maize and mukhoyo (a traditional refreshing soft drink) would fill a gap in the market.
Because she was a newcomer, Lydia’s business was initially slow. However, as people came to know the quality of her products, the pace picked up, and continued to do so once she joined MicroLoan Foundation (MLF) and started to take advantage of our services. Now in her fourth loan cycle, Lydia’s business has developed into a profitable undertaking, and her weekly profits have increased from ZK300 to ZK400. Thanks to this increase in profits, she is no longer struggling to provide for her family’s daily needs or to pay for her children’s school fees. She has also managed to buy cement to make some repairs to her home.
Lydia largely attributes her success to MLF’s training which has taught her how to make regular savings, as well as how to plan for a larger goal. In fact, she says that her plan is to continue growing her business so that her children might attend university and earn a better living. Lydia’s success has earned her the admiration and respect of her friends and community members. In witnessing the improvements she has made in terms of the products she sells in the market and the opportunities her family is afforded, other women in her area are being inspired to join MLF.