AET’s Enterprise Loans scheme
It isn’t just the children in Zambia who need a hand up. The adults do, too. In Zambia, 50% of all adults are unemployed. The vast majority of employment opportunities – few as they are – exist within the agricultural sector, which generates just 15% of Zambian GDP. The statistics just don’t stack up – too many are sharing too little.
However, many Zambians are enterprising and resourceful. They seek to provide for themselves and their families through whatever means they can. They are not afraid to work hard to earn a wage. But with no financial backing, what hope have locals of trading their skills and services to secure maximum benefit?
AET’s microcredit scheme exists to help people like this. Typically, we lend very small amounts of money to business people who are talented and ambitious, but poor and lacking in opportunity. There are two strands to the loan scheme:
- Money – the sums are tiny (typically US$20-40). Even these small sums mean that businesses can grow, by buying new tools, or employing other people.
- Skills – To invest, you need both resources and skills. It makes no sense to invest money into people without teaching them the associated basic financial skills to use it.
AET lends to people in a way that is sustainable and manageable for the borrowers – something the commercial banks or the “parallel market” (loan sharks) cannot do. We:
- lend a sum of money
- teach people skills like book-keeping
- work out a manageable repayment schedule
- support people as they repay
This means that AET loanees are not just skilled in a trade. They also have the financial understanding to make their business work. AET’s vision is that these empowered entrepreneurs will make a difference in their communities.
We have made loans and taught basic financial skills to such business people carpenters and seamstresses. If you’d like to find out more, please contact us