Theresa is a farmer, entrepreneur, and an equal partner with her husband, Peter. They live over an hour away from Nairobi on the outskirts of Kibichoi, a small town in the Kenyan countryside.
Our partner Kenyan Women’s Microfinance Bank (KWFT) provides loans to women entrepreneurs like Theresa, as well as business training and financial management education. The loans Theresa receives from KWFT allow her to make investments in their farm, including digging a well for their own water tank. Her husband did not believe this was a good investment, but since the loan was Theresa’s, she was empowered to make that decision. As a result, they no longer rely on municipal water and have accumulated significant savings.
Global Partnerships aims to empower women living in poverty by investing in microfinance institutions that deliver credit and savings alongside education including basic financial literacy, business and money management. With access to loans, women are able to expand their own business, build economic assets they control, and make more informed decisions on how to spend and save their income.
“This is an example of growing equity in my marriage,” Theresa says. “As women, we have a lot of challenges. But with KWFT, we were able to develop. With a little money, we can work together with our spouses to decide which projects to do. We can use the money we earn to educate our children.”
Now Peter manages their coffee crop and Theresa manages all other aspects of their businesses, including caring for their dairy cows, which produce 80 liters of milk per day, and growing crops including macadamia nuts, beans, avocados, bananas, maize and potatoes. With the loans Theresa secured from KWFT and her commitment, they have a home, six cows, five acres of land, four employees and a thriving farm business.
“Now, since we have come so far, we look to see what else we as women can do to grow.”