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Project information

Poverty Reduction Through Enterprise Development

MicroLoan provides small loans, training and support to impoverished women in Africa. Our support enables women to work their way out of poverty by setting up small self-sustainable businesses. Business profits help pay for life-saving medicines, food & education.

A hand up, not a hand out.

The programme is an ongoing one, sustainable over time

Charity information: MicroLoan Foundation

MicroLoan Foundation logo
  • Need


    MicroLoan works in some of the world's poorest countries. Countries where vast proportions of the population live below the $1.25 daily income poverty line. Countries where millions of women and children lack access to a good education, balanced diets, employment opportunities, financial services or the opportunities to build a better life for themselves. MicroLoan focuses on the rural poor, providing financial services and training to those people unable to be reached by other organisations.


    MicroLoan has pioneered an innovative, cost-effective and sustainable microfinance model suited to remote rural areas. Its long-term and supportive nature facilitates long-lasting improvements in the lives of poor women and their families. MicroLoan’s work enables women to work their own way out of poverty. The services provided create opportunities, facilitate lifelong skills transfer and access to capital, which dramatically improves their quality of life. MicroLoan works at the grassroots.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To significantly reduce poverty and inequality amongst the rural female population in Africa.


    » To provide tailored microfinance services to women who cannot access credit from banks or urban-based microfinance institutions
    » To provide specialised training programmes and lifelong skills opportunities so women can establish self-sustainable businesses
    » To offer long-term mentoring support and build strong relationships with clients to enable their busniesses to thrive for generations to come
    » Enable women helped to establish value-added and socially beneficial enterprises whilst strengthening their position in national supply chains

    What success will look like

    Success will be... Expanding our outreach to thousands more poor women, whilst improving their progress out of poverty towards long-term self-sustainability

    Aim 2

    To ensure the charity's operations reach sustainability without compromising our social mission


    » Raise sufficient capital required to establish each regional branch according to our proven working model. Each requiring a two-year start-up phase
    » Serving clients in a cost-effective way to ensure critical mass is reached, loan volumes are managed efficiently and client businesses are successful
    » Investing in appropriate IT resource and local staff training to ensure loans are processed and client training is delivered quickly and efficiently

    What success will look like

    Success will be... Providing services so that local overheads and training programmes' cost are covered by the interest charged without preventing clients from being successful

    Aim 3

    Ensuring our work improves people's lives, bringing true social and financial impact to their lives


    » Work closely with clients through our local field staff and through our innovative training and mentoring, and social performance management programme
    » Gathering key data from clients to assess, monitor and evaluate our work and methods - making our services appropriate, effective and value for money
    » Use the information gathered to refine our work, improve our loan and training products, along with communicating success globally to raise new funds

    What success will look like

    Success will be... Integrating our new programme across our operations to gather key client data that improves the impact of our work and clients' business success

  • Impact


    The project will provide opportunities for women to acquire lifelong skills and access financial services. This integrated approach improves their families' quality of life by improving their incomes, access to healthcare, diet and being able to access education. MicroLoan helps people be independent, self-sufficient and improves their life chances substantially whilst fuelling the economy. Our social performance management system demonstrates success against key performance indicators.


    Natural diasters; client loan defaults; field staff fraud; local staff ill-health. We have an Internal Audit department in-country that monitors and evaluates operation procedures. All staff in Africa are local people, their knowledge and experience means mitigates risk and maximises success. Projects are adapted to local cultural sensitivities, client management uses proven group-accountability methods and our loan products and training are tailored to keep risks to an absolute minimum.


    We have a wealth of experience in providing transparent and tangible reports. We share this information through our website, our Facebook and Twitter pages and our YouTube channel. We provide regular progress reports and performance data to donors. We do this cost-effectively and informatively.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £1,296,441

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £311,209 Fundraising Costs Costs of generating voluntary income
      £901,828 Programme Costs Cost of providing services to beneficiaries. Includes transfers to Africa & programme staff costs UK
      £83,404 Governance Relating to general running of charity, allowing us to generate info for public accountability

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Private foundations £456,000 Guaranteed
    Donations from individuals £80,000 Guaranteed
    Donations from companies £2,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The charity works at present throughout Malawi, in the Eastern and Southern Provinces of Zambia and is expanding into Zimbabwe. These operations and expansion into new areas are supported by the ongoing fundraising, communications and operational teams in the UK office. Our mission remains helping remote rural women living below the poverty line and without access to finance or training opportunities.


    Our work is focused on women who live in poverty, who have little to no chance of accessing financial services, employment and education. Our support benefits them, their families and the wider community. Traditional microfinance institutions have been deterred from targeting rural areas due to the lack of basic infrastructure but we have developed a successful model to do so. For example, in Malawi, our core operational country, over 70% of the population is excluded from financial services.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Banks and the vast majority of microfinance institutions do not operate in very rural areas and with poor women because of the cost of reaching them and the associated risk. A key part of our local feasibilty studies involves assessing organisations in the sector and we keep an open dialogue with other them in order to ensure we do not duplicate services and efforts. We collaborate with other organisations when appropriate to ensure our clients are served in the best way by the right people

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Head Of Operations

    This manager supports the branches in Africa to ensure they work effectively and that finances and training are stringently managed without risk.

    Our Local Branch Managers In Africa

    They will be responsible for the management of the branch, the office administration and of the Field Officers who manage the clients directly.

    Our Loan Officers

    The loan officers deliver training, mentoring and financial administration to the women we work with.

    Head Of Fundraising

    The Head of Fundraising enables this small effective charity's team to raise the funds required so that our outreach in Africa grows to meet demands.

Dailess, her children, and her tailoring business

Dailess, her children, and her tailoring business