Several years ago, small business development loans were given to seven self-employed ladies in Kumasi, Ghana. With interest paid on each loan, the lending pot gradually increased with each round of funding leading to more loans issued and for larger amounts.
Each loan is paid back with interest over a 24 week period. Most ladies join together in groups of 5 to 12 people, pooling their loans, enabling a greater buying power and increasing profit margins. Businesses include the selling of yams or eggs and cooking local dishes. With one lady from each group responsible for managing the repayments, peer pressure means that there are few defaulted payments.
Following from the success of the simple micro-finance scheme in Kumasi, Project Cornerstone is pleased to have been able to fund a larger project, run in partnership with the Living Stone Foundation, a Ghanaian charity. A higher level of investment has been made, allowing an increased number of loans to be granted.
Working with the disadvantaged and marginalised in the Accra district of Ghana The Living Stone Foundation is operating at a lower level of fees and interest than comparable commercial scheme. It provides not only money, but financial and business advice to the widows and youth that the scheme serves.
The Living Stone Foundation
Christiana Armah (47yrs), married with 4 children and lives in Breku. Her initial loan allowed her to increase her stock. As soon as the first loan wsa repaid, she applied for a second loan. The micro enterprise scheme makes a huge difference to the standard of living of her family and the education of her children.