What we do






































































o       EARD business training:

§         EARD requires borrowers to be trained in loan group formation, business management, record-keeping, and business planning before they receive loans. Training is delivered in the Tengeru market square where many of the women work or will be working. It is held each morning for five days and is delivered by Naomi, the Loan Officer. On the first day, she covers group formation – how the women can create a group to then receive loans. She also explains the support role that the group members will play for each other as they will meet as a group every two weeks at least. When they meet, they will discuss any problems that have come up and help each other solve them. On the second day, she covers business idea generation and general business skills. This training includes basic market analysis, and product pricing.

§         On the third day, examples of best practices in customer service and quality management.

§         On the fourth day, record-keeping and inventory labeling

§         On the fifth day, they create their own business plans

§         After the training is complete, the potential borrowers come to EARD-CI to have their business plan approved.

§         EARD must approve each individual business plan before the group gets their loans.

o       EARD lending:

§         Loans are available to groups from any village or tribe within 30 km of Tengeru. Loans are given to groups of three to seven people, the vast majority of which are women. The groups serve as a support network for the individual entrepreneurs as well as cross-guaranteeing each other’s loans. If any of the women borrowers were unable to repay her loan, the rest of her group would assume responsibility for her debt. This group mechanism helps minimize repayment problems and collateral requirements as well as providing new business owners with direct peer support.

§         Individuals who qualify for a micro-loan pay a small registration fee as well as a small deposit that is held as security to guarantee to the loan. They are required to pay back the loan with 20% interest over six months in monthly installments. These borrowers would not be able to obtain affordable credit through the traditional banking sectors.

§         Loan amounts range from Tsh 50,000 to Tsh 300,000 (around US$50-300). EARD-CI’s lending approach is to grant loans for working capital only. Individual borrowers are responsible for pulling together their initial investments in infrastructure before qualifying for an EARD-CI loan which is for working capital only. So, for example, a would-be borrower needs to find the money to buy their stand in the market before getting a loan that they can use to buy supplies. This strategy helps insure the commitment of the individual borrower and the likelihood that the loan will be successful.  There are more people who want loans than we can currently help given funding restrictions.

§         Clients who have successfully repaid previous loans are eligible for larger amounts. We are very proud of our 99% repayment rate.

§         EARD-CI provides loans to clients for a wide range of business activities including

·        Fruit and vegetable market stands

·        Small stores

·        Selling livestock

·        Selling used clothing, shoes and bedding

·        Small restaurants/cafes

·        Food preparation/catering

o       VICOBA village community banking

§         In November of 2006, EARD-CI started a new program called VICOBA, or Village Community Banking, to help local communities provide additional funding for themselves as the demand for micro-loans continued to grow past what EARD-CI itself could meet. In the VICOBA program, a group of 30 community members come together, elect leadership and being a small-scale savings program that provides them with a base for funding micro-loans to group members. Within the larger group, there are smaller groups of five participants who support each other and guarantee each others loans. The small group members take turns getting loans for their businesses – only two members at a time get loans which they pay back in three months.  EARD-CI provides the training for the program participants and helps ensure that their business ideas are viable before they get access to loan funds. There are two VICOBA groups running at the moment and we expect to open an additional group shortly.

o       English Lessons:

§         English classes were started by EARD staff in July 2007 in response to a growing need for loan clients to serve the English speaking tourists. The lessons are held in the morning four days a week from 10:00 to 12:00. Since there is currently no classroom, these lessons are held outdoors in the market. As of August 2007, there are 15 students attending the classes with ages ranging from 25 to 40. English lessons are not restricted to loan clients, but rather have been offered to anyone requesting the education. Many more individuals have asked to participate in the training but due to lack of funds, the additional training can not be provided.