Ama Awlimet is an entrepreneur and business owner in Berboano Village, Ghana. She sells food, clothing and other essentials to her local community.
But business hasn’t always been easy for Ama.
As a small-scale business owner and a woman, she was considered ‘un-bankable’ by most investors. This meant she was unable to make the renovations she needed to protect her store from shoplifting – and her business was running at a loss.
When UP established a Community Savings microfinance group in her village, Ama was quick to become a member. She borrowed a small loan with a low interest rate, which she repaid in three months. This extra money paid for the renovations, allowing her to run a secure and successful store.
Ama’s success has created a ripple effect through her village, inspiring others to follow her entrepreneurial lead.
“I’ve become a symbol for people in the community to emulate. My sister who is in a nearby community also saw the impact and decided to join a Savings group,” she says.
Ama now has a secure income from her business and she no longer needs to ask her father or friends to lend her money. She invests her profits in her children’s education and in living a happier, healthier life.
“Now people respect me,” she says. “Some of my friends ask what I’m using to look so good! I tell them: it’s because I have peace of mind and I’m more relaxed.”