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Jasmine's business venture with cows and goats

By Opportunity International Australia

In the last two years, the pandemic has pushed millions of people in India back into poverty. Many of the people we serve through Opportunity International Australia’s small loans have been supported through this time to keep their businesses afloat. Jasmine is one of Opportunity’s loan recipients who has managed to improve her way of life during this time.

Jasmine in front of her house

Jasmine and her husband Mamad live in a small village in the west of India, in a modest house with two rooms and a kitchen. They both worked as labourers and did not earn enough to cover their basic necessities. Unfortunately, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, they lost their jobs and had no other source of income.

Through her neighbour, Jasmine heard about small loans being offered one of Opportunity’s microfinance partners. She applied and received a loan of INR 35,000 ($A626) to open a small grocery shop and purchase a cow and a goat to start a dairy business.

Jasmine and her cow and goats

Things were going well but when further lockdowns happened, Jasmine was forced to close her shop. Thankfully she was able to earn an income from selling cow and goat’s milk.

“COVID-19 hit us hard, we had to close the shop as there were no sales,” said Jasmine. But by farming and selling milk we were able to survive in tough times.

With the assistance of a small loan, Jasmine and Mamad were able to make ends meet.

The loan amount helped us to earn a living in the hard times,” added Jasmine.

Jasmine and her neighbour

Her husband has managed to find work again now in farming and construction. Jasmine’s day begins with cleaning the house and cooking breakfast. She then feeds the cattle and goats and milks them. She then sells the milk to her neighbours and walks into the village to sell more milk to others in the community. Jasmine and Mamad are earning more money now than they were before the pandemic.

The future is looking bright for Jasmine, as she hopes to increase her dairy business and find more opportunities in agriculture and farming.

With a hand up from a small loan, women like Jasmine have used their resilience to create successful business ventures – generating a regular income for their families and helping to break the cycle of poverty.

Read more about microfinance and how it's a sustainable solution to paving pathway out poverty.

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