Helping women is a very big part of who we are as a company and our partnership with Kleos Microfinance Group allows us to do the work that matters most. For every dress you purchase from Studio 15, we support women by donating 5% of proceeds to female entrepreneurs in developing countries so they can start their own businesses. These women typically lack collateral, steady employment and a verifiable credit history. That is why these loans mean so much to them and can make such a big impact on their lives, a change they would have a hard time making otherwise. There is nothing we love more than seeing the impact of giving back to women in need, read on to see what Aciro Nighy, one of the women who received a loan from Kleos, has to say.
“Hello my name is Aciro Nighty, I am a 38 year old women with three children under the age of fifteen. Currently I am separated from my husband so I am the sole provider for my children. My children and I live in a hut in a small community in the North East district of Gulu.
I own a small restaurant in Pece Vanguard, and applied to Kleos Uganda for a loan to improve the roof of my restaurant. In the past I was using plastic bags for my roof top which made work very hard, especially during rainy season. This caused me to lose business as I was unable to serve customers and prevent rain from coming into the restaurant at the same time.
Thankfully Kleos Uganda gave me a 500,000 shilling loan. I used the loan to reroof my restaurant with iron sheets. Since then I have been able to operate my restaurant as any other business would, allowing me to serve more customers and make more money to better support my family and put my children through school.
Before Kleos Uganda I had never taken out a loan before because the banks’ charge high interest rates for their loans and demand collateral as security, which I do not have. I learned about Kleos Uganda from a friend and I decided to join because of the good loan program they have for vulnerable people like me.
The training I got from Kleos Uganda has helped me to have a better perspective of my business and because of that, I am doing so many things differently which has made my business grow bigger than it used to be. For example; I used to cook a small amount of food but now I cook a variety of food which attracts more customers and brings new people to my restaurant every day.
Kleos’ loan is very good for me because they are not after making any profits but their main aim is to truly help the needy. I remember when I was repaying my first loan cycle, I felt very sick and I couldn’t work, but when I talked to my Loan Administrator about my condition, he understood and gave me time to recover and get back to work before resuming my repayment. This does not happen with other lending institutions. Also the interest rate and repayment period is very favorable; it has been easy for me to meet the payments needs to support my group members.
Right now I want to finish paying back this loan quickly so I can apply for a 3rd cycle because I want to buy some produce and start a produce business alongside my restaurant for extra income. All my children are at school and I need to have more money so that I can be able to pay for their school fees at a higher level of education.”
A dress for you. A business funded for her.