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Developing a Better Buisness


Sitting in Momma Natalia’s shop with a steady stream of customers coming in to buy everything from flour to soft drinks it is hard to believe how her life has changed in the few years she has been a part of the Hagari family.  Her past is one like many women, one of hardship, limited schooling, and working on the streets to provide for her first daughter, but her future is full of dreams and hopes.

Her first daughter Natalia, now almost 9, is part of the sponsorship program and as a part of this program we work with their families to help them to find meaningful work and develop a sustainable livelihood.  For Momma Natalia, she has always had mind for good business practices, and she manged to quickly open a small shop with some money she manged to save from working the streets. Over the next three years since her first shop opened her business has grown and so has her dreams.

What has enabled her to grow her business is the ability for her to access money through Hagari Finance.  Because she has had no tangible assets finance institutions would consider her as a high a risk and not lend her any money.  But Hagari finance is different, we believe in the person and we know that the person themselves is worth taking the risk for. First, she borrowed 120,000 RWF ($140 US) and quickly payed it back with the investment she used in her shop.  She then doubled her borrowing to further expand, and now she about to finish her third loan of 500,000 ($600 US). This has finally allowed her to put most of the money into a savings account which she only accesses in emergencies, and the other little bit she has again increased what she sells in her shop.  “Being able to borrow money has opened my eyes and given me the confidence to manage money”.

It is not just her finances which have seen the improvement but also her own life.  She is now married (not yet legally) to a wonderful supportive man and together they have a young child who is growing up strong and full of joy and happiness. In the future they plan to borrow one million francs and buy some land and build a house together so that they can have stability. A larger shop which can support them both is also in their future plans.

She says “I so want to meet our daughters sponsor, it is someone I don’t know, I wonder what they are like, and how they are helping me here.”