SACCO loans encourage women entrepreneurs

Edget Lerobit Savings and Credit Cooperative (SACCO) in Robit kebele in Bahir Dar Zuria district has received ETB 600,000 in loanable funds for the AgroBIG Women and Youth Loan Fund (WYLF). To date, a total of 16 women and 6 men have received a loan via this fund for developing their agribusinesses.

Loan beneficiary Addisie Aregaw runs a successful poultry business. Her chickens produce about 250 eggs per day, which are sold at the market in Bahir Dar at ETB 3.7/ pc. Pictured here with her husband Worku Tamir.

Ms Addisie Aregaw is an example of a loan taker whose life changed positively with the assistance of a WYLF loan from Edget Lerobit SACCO. Having joined the SACCO in January 2018, Addisie was soon after awarded a loan of ETB 50,000 for her poultry business, which she runs together with her husband Mr Worku Tamir , a trained kebele veterinary officer.

Addisie originally had 100 Bovan Brown dual-purpose chicks, but with the help of the loan was able to expand her business to buy 200 more. The eggs are retailed at nearby Bahir Dar market, and after a year the chickens will be sold for meat. The chickens provide additional income in the form of manure which is sold to farmers to use as compost
Addisie is turning a profit, enabling her to save ETB 500 per month after covering running costs such as the monthly rent for the poultry operation premises. In the future she plans to expand her flock to 500 birds and hire in external labour.

Ms Degistu Biyazen, Manager of Edget Lerobit SACCO, is pleased at the 25% increase in female membership (from 199 to 266 women) since the AgroBIG loan facility targeting women and youth was introduced.

Edget Lerobit SACCO was established in 2004, with 62 members drawn from the surrounding rural community, and ETB 5000 as starting capital. Today, the SACCO has capital in excess of ETB 5 million, and boasts 1439 members, around 20% of which are women. Robit SACCO provides loans to its members, who include farmers and petty traders. Loan applicants must demonstrate a good record of regular savings, and prepare a thorough business plan.

Ms Degistu Biyazen who has served the Edget Lerobit SACCO since 2014, first as an accountant and in the last three years as manager, sees the AgroBIG loan fund as an important tool for empowering women. She would like to maximize its potential by reaching as many women as possible; “We want women to take a lead role help them expand their business. As manager of the SACCO, I believe that it is a mutually beneficial for both for SACCOs and women to grow together”.