Making Dreams into a Reality: Orant’s Microloan Program in Malawi

Sophelet’s Story

Sophelet in her tea room,
Sophelet in her tea room in Kalungulu.

For years, 38-year-old Sophelet Manjawira, of Kalungulu village in the Traditional Authority Chakhaza, had a dream of owning a thriving tea room in her village. Sophelet had always envisioned her tea room as a hub for the community where people could gather, enjoy a cup of tea, and engage in meaningful conversations. Learn how Orant’s microloan program helps women like Sophelet turn their dreams into reality!

The Orant FEM Program helps female entrepreneurs grow their businesses

However, Sophelet’s dream was almost shattered due to the lack of capital to sustain her business. With only $10 to her name, she had no idea how to make her dream a reality.

That was until 2021 when she heard about Orant’s Financially Empowering Microloans for Women Program (FEM). which supports women in our community who were stuck in a cycle of poverty by offering them small loans which could be repaid with no interest.

Orant’s FEM Program has given opportunity to female entrepreneurs

Sophelet saw this as an opportunity to breathe life into her dream. She joined the group in 2021 and was given a loan of $100 in the same year and $200 the following year. “These loans have helped me expand my tea room business and I have now grown my capital to $100” Says Sophelet.

Diversification helps entrepreneurs thrive

With her tearoom business flourishing, Sophelet has diversified into other businesses such as goat farming, piggery, and tobacco farming. She has also used part of her earnings to purchase fertilizer for maize farming

Thanks to her hard work and dedication, Sophelet is also able to pay school fees for her third born son who is currently in form 3, and is able to provide school materials for her other children.

The macroeconomic climate in Malawi

Despite this success, Sophelet’s tearoom business has been facing a significant challenge.She says that the current economic conditions in the country have affected price stability and have resulted in the loss of some customers. Sophelet has had to find ways to adapt to the changing times. Despite the challenges, she remains resilient and determined to achieve her goals.

How the FEM Program helps female entrepreneurs achieve their goals

One of Sophelet’s  goals is to build a house in her home village. She hopes to achieve this goal soon. Sophelet credits our FEM Program for transforming her life. 

“Without the program, I would not have been able to achieve my dream of owning a thriving business, diversifying into other businesses, and providing for my family.” Sophelet’s story is a testament to the power of microloans and how they are transforming the lives of many other women in rural communities.

The Orant Journal