In northern Tanzania, VisionFund works with and provides affordable loan products to farmers and businesses to help uplift the living conditions of families and children.
Elizabeth Munuo, aged 48, lives in the district of Hai, where VisionFund Tanzania has its office located in the town of Boma. She is married and has a son who is now 22 years of age and is awaiting acceptance to university. She shares how microfinance loans helped her improve her income through her aluminum and glass shop.
Elizabeth’s first loan with VisionFund was TZS 1M ($435), which she used to expand her business. She recalls how during her first and second loans, she used to go to the VisionFund office to collect the loan forms that needed to be filled out and returned back to the office – it had consumed quite a lot of time and had been a little inconvenient to her business.
“I remember, during my first and second loans, there was paperwork involved where we needed to fill in our details – after which the loan officer would send the forms to Moshi where the Branch manager was located, for approval. It was only then that I would receive my loan. I even lost some of the papers once and so when I arrived at the office I had to fill them all over again,” she says.
“VFT then introduced the tablets, where the loan officer would follow just collect our information while we were working at our business – this was great as I did not need to close my business to go out and do the loan process - instead we completed everything through the tablet. I am so thankful to VFT for caring about our business,” she added.
She continues, “With the use of tablet the loan process now takes 3 to 4 days and that speed is good for business. I was able to earn more income and have opened a restaurant as my second business and am still looking for other opportunities.”
Elizabeth’s current loan is TZS 5M ($2,173) which she has used for both the restaurant and the aluminum shop.
“I would like to thank VFT for empowering us women so that we can support our family and also grow our businesses,” concluded Elizabeth.