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Sydney South NSW 1235, Level 11, 227 Elizabeth Street Sydney NSW 2000

Telephone: 1800 812 164

© 2022 Opportunity International AustraliaABN 83 003 805 043

Meet the entrepreneurs of India

By Opportunity International Australia

Being willing to risk what little you have for a better life is a hallmark of Opportunity’s microentrepreneurial clients. What they borrow awakens drive, leadership, independence and leads to a sustainable future.

Our clients demonstrate the power of hope and determination every single day. Buffeted by forces outside their control, from services that exclude them, climate change and the pandemic, these extraordinary women rise, and rise, and rise. We are proud to share their stories.

Thanks to ESAF, Pahal and Satya for photography.

Indian women learning to make cookies and buns

Shajitha Dilddar’s family used to live on her husband’s day wages. She learned to make cookies and buns by using her friends’ ovens. With a small loan from ESAF, Shajitha started ‘Ooty Varkey’ with her husband. Her goods were a hit! She has now expanded her business, employing 10 women and buying a delivery van. In her community, she’s earned the title of Sajitha Ettha (elder sister).

Sannamma packs incense

When Sannamma Ramakrishna was a daily wage worker, she wanted to start her own business, but there wasn’t a credit group in her village. So she recruited 11 women and started one. Her first loan enabled her to start the incense packaging business that now employs 13 local women. Sannamma says credit provider ESAF taught her, ‘the art of sharing success by delivering joy.’

Sunita sets up her own factory

After 12 years of working in a silk reeling factory with her husband and father-in-law, Sunita Suresh ventured out and set up her own factory. She started in a single room but loans from ESAF to buy faster, better equipment allowed her ambitions to take flight. She and her team now supply silk yarn to handloom weavers and she has become a role model in self-reliance for the next generation.

Jarina sells raw materials and sells products

Jarina Begum dreamed of independence, but lack of schooling and early marriage didn’t align. With partner Satya’s help, after being refused by traditional lenders, she started expanding her family’s spice business. They purchased more raw materials, increased production, created a loyalty program with rewards, and sold their products further afield. Loans fuelled their success and turnover has gradually risen.

Tinaben and her cow

Opportunities are thinner on the ground in some places than others. But Tinaben Thakarda saw the chance to improve her situation when Opportunity partner Pahal came to her small village in Gujarat. She borrowed funds and bought a cow prior to lockdowns. The milk she sells to a cooperative helps her run her house and sustain the family with dignity.

For more stories on how microfinance is changing lives in India, read our India Microfinance Impact Reports.

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