Seamstress I Kabul, Afghanistan
After living in Iran for a couple of years, Farida came back to Afghanistan after the collapse of the Taliban regime. By this time, she had separated from her husband, leaving her brother as only support for her and her only child. Because of this dependence, Farida felt an urge to work and earn a living. As she had acquired sewing skills while in Iran, Farida started tailoring at home. However, due to the many moves, she was unable to maintain a customer base around her neighbourhood.
Finally, a relative who knew OXUS Afghanistan introduced Farida to microfinance. She quickly applied to her first loan, of 40,000 AFN, which enabled her to rent her own working place: a shop in the Qala-e-Fathullah area of Kabul. With the subsequent loans, Farida purchased sewing machines and other raw materials to expand her business. Today, she is repaying her fourth loan worth AFN 50,000. Since she opened her shop and her net income exceeds 25,000 AFN. Farida is very happy to now be a self-sufficient woman. Microfinance has not only helped her establish her own business and overcome many of her challenges as the breadwinner for her family, but it has also put her in a position to provide a source of income and inspiration to young women. Moreover, Farida has been able to support her daughter’s education. She is planning on opening a second tailoring shop using the OXUS microfinance loans.
Businessman I Batken, Kyrgyzstan
When he first started to benefit from the financial products and services of OXUS Kyrgyzstan, his main activity was to sell women clothes on the market. Through his first loans, he was able to have the financial resources to invest in his activity and therefore to ensure its deployment. For instance, these credits made it possible for him to purchase his own spot at the market. With a stabilized place for his business, his revenue became regular and even increased. Halilov started to think of other projects he could develop, and decided to focus on agriculture, cultivating apples. After several loans with OXUS Kyrgyzstan for the growth of his first activity, and as Halilov has proven to be a good client, OXUS decided to grant him other credits to ensure the development at best of his new business. Halilov took his 5th loan with the institution, of 3,400 USD, which enabled him to buy a Sprinter bus. Thanks to this purchase, he can today ensure the distribution of his apples himself, and has the capacity to deploy his activity. Moreover, thanks to the loans provided by OXUS Kyrgyzstan, Halilov did not only increase his income and his business, he also was able to improve his daily life by having the funds to do good and durable renovations in his house.
Baker I Sughd REGION, Tajikistan
Malika is a 30 years old woman who studied in Moscow. She came back in Tajikistan from Russia in 2008, and she is married to a professional cake baker. She since began to bake custom cakes at home and started to save up money. In 2010, she obtained her first loan from OXUS to invest fully in the start of a baking business, and purchase raw materials and equipment (stoves, refrigerators, and so on). After that, she began to distribute her goods to a number of additional shops and her business began to grow quickly. Her growing activity enabled her to reimburse her loan on time and increased her need to have her own space. Therefore, she contracted another loan of $7,000 to scale up production by buying appropriate equipment, and even better, to open her own bakery. OXUS enabled Malika’s to have the financial resources to support the development of her activity, while in consequence she creates job opportunities and develops other people’s skills. In the future, she wishes to open a tearoom. For this project, she wishes to be financially supported by OXUS.
TRADESMAN I KhatLon Region, Tajikistan
In 2014, Shamsuddin received a first loan from OXUS to expand his business. The loan gave him the opportunity to import higher volumes of cooking oil. While reducing transportation costs. Through this, both product range of oils and profitability improved. During the first cycle of his cooperation with OXUS he could generate more income than expected and hence close the loan ahead of schedule and save on interest payments.
His second loan in 2015 enabled him to expand his business and open his own store in the central market of Kulyab. However, after several months the economic crisis left its mark: low levels of purchasing power of the local population lowered demand for his products; his revenues dropped and many of his perishable products went off. Close to bankruptcy, he approached OXUS again. After conduction of analysis and consideration of all aspects of his activity, it proposed him to restructure his loan and offered flexible repayment schedule of his loan. Today, six months later, Shamsuddin has improved his business, reestablished the initial product range and created a partnership with a confectionery shop for the supply and sale of their products.
MICROFARMER I KhatLon Region, Tajikistan
USD 1,000 – this was the size of the first loan Zebi Odinaeva received by OXUS in 2012. In the following six years, the woman from Mu’minobod (eastern Khatlon region) managed to make the most of these USD 1,000 and gradually became a successful microfarmer. When it all started, she used her first loan to open a business selling homegrown potatoes. Due to favourable local climate conditions, she was quite sure that her business model would turn out to be successful. Consultations with agronomists, reinforcing her decision, took place.
And yes – neither the experts nor her personal feeling turned out to be wrong: her business went Into a promising direction right from the start. After seeing first results, she decided to extend her cooperation with OXUS and expanded and differentiated her business: she started to cultivate wheat and potatoes and purchased cows. As her business grew further, she obtained a total of three additional loans with the purpose of improving her household’s conditions and working equipment. These loans enabled her to further professionalise processes. After her last loan, which had a balance of TJS 4,000, she is in a financially stable position and, due to OXUS’ customer-centered repayment approach, does not face an acute liquidity shortage that might hurt her business activity. Despite microfarming not really Zebi’s main job (she also works at a local state library), her family’s financial situation has improved significantly and, due to diversified income sources, became more and more stable. Looking back, Zebi is more than happy about her decision in favour of OXUS – it has been a truly lifechanging one.