Angolan women’s fragile but hardworking hands motivate sluggish economy
Porto Amboim is 279 kilometers from the capital of Angola, a municipality where fishery and small businesses are thriving. Men are managing majority of these enterprises, but recently, women entrepreneurs are rising through micro-credit initiatives.
Florinda Miguel, 50, has four children. She belongs to a group called Arise Women organized by the Church of Jesus Christ Holy Spirit. She lives in Porto Amboim with her husband who is a military man, along with her four children and two nieces.
She had a dream of putting up a business but she does not have the capital to start with. From the group, she learned about the Women Entrepreneurs Project sponsored by Total, in partnership with World Vision, Federation of Angolan Women Entrepreneurs (FMEA) and Banco Sol.
The Arise Women group has as a program teaching the women about financial planning and analysis for the family and on starting a small-scale business.
She started attending the trainings every week, learning more about business, profits and savings. Her active participation stood out among the rest and has led for her to qualify for the micro-credit funding. Florinda’s dream to open her own business has come true.
"It was a great joy to be awarded this opportunity and realize my dream. I have always been a hardworking woman and I always want to grow more. Starting with a US$300 credit for the business has benefited not only me but also my family. I am now able to help my husband and pay for the school fees of my children", says Florinda.
She said that credit projects indeed help women. Since her business are varied from selling animals to refill of cellphone credits, these give her possibility of quick profits. "I advise all women with the desire to become entrepreneurs to join projects like this one. You also need to pray a lot to God for success and strength for the sake of our own families.”
“The biggest challenge is doing this scheme while the country is going through the economic crisis. This affects the development of entrepreneurs in Porto Amboim. The prices of the goods also change every day. The power of acquiring business increasingly complicates the situation of the women who must constantly monitor the market and the change their business”, said Ilda Tchiyo, World Vision’s Project Manager.
She further added, “Often they have to move out of their usual marketing places to go after customers in other areas outside the municipality. This situation has implications not only on their income but also on repayment deadlines for the bank credit.”
Overall, participating in the program increased the women’s confidence in doing business. It also boosted their self-esteem. Despite the economic crisis, the women’s businesses are providing benefits to their families’ needs. During the meetings, the women do not only discuss about finance and business but they also learn about other issues such as HIV and diseases affecting children.
At present, around 3200 women have joined the project and are actively pursuing their own businesses. Apart from micro-finance, World Vision is also pursuing other projects in the area such as artisanal or small-scale fishing reaching out to 1,520 people.
Learn more about the work World Vision is doing to enable families to provide for the needs of their children through our Resilience and Livelihood programmes in Angola.