Anne Ndungu is a mother of three, chairlady of her church, treasurer of her village’s women’s group and – thanks to a loan from Grameen Foundation partner Musoni – a successful entrepreneur.
“With the Kenyan shillings 80,000 loan (about US$800) I got from Musoni,” she said, “I was able to buy a dairy cow, start poultry keeping and build a cow shed.”
Previously, Anne and her husband worked their small plot of land and hired themselves out as casual laborers on coffee farms to support their family. They struggled to earn enough to pay for their children’s school fees. Even buying a liter of milk to feed their children was out of their reach.
Now, Anne’s cows produce all the milk her family could possibly drink -- 14 liters of milk each day. The excess, sold at market, supports her youngest son’s final years of schooling, has allowed Anne to take in a nephew in need, and is seeding Anne’s plans to add goats and cows to her herd.
In Kenya, stories like Anne’s are a rarity because smallholder farmers often can’t access loans. To ensure Kenya’s farmers can obtain loans to fuel their entrepreneurial dreams and spark rural development, Grameen Foundation worked with the all-digital microfinance institution Musoni to develop Kilimo Booster, a mobile-based agricultural loan. Unlike other loans, Kilimo Booster is designed specifically for smallholder farmers and features flexible repayment terms corresponding to farmers’ harvest cycles and cash flows.
Although she is now widowed, Ann is determined to make it on her own.
“My dream is to move to a big farm, add three more cows and start buying and selling at least four bulls every two months,” said Anne. “I will add more goats and poultry. I believe Musoni will help me get there.”