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Snapshot: Making the Cut « International Aid Services America
October Snapshot

The future of Victoria Antwiwaa and her son looks bright thanks to the assistance of an IAS microfinance loan

Throughout Africa, men and women struggle not only to survive, but also to thrive. What type of life is subsistence living, hand to mouth, not knowing from where your next meal will come? By building capacity into the lives of developing world entrepreneurs, IAS invests in the future of generations of Africans to come. You see, across Africa entire families and even communities experience the ripple effect of microfinance, or what IAS often refers to as “MicroPower.”

Victoria Antwiwaa is one such entrepreneur. As a single mother of a small son living in rural Ghana, Victoria was fearful of the future. “In the past years I was not working and things were very difficult because I had to take full responsibility for my baby boy,” states Victoria.

Although certified as a professional hairdresser, work in her profession was almost impossible to find. When asked how she survived, Victoria told IAS, “With no work to find as a hairdresser, I often went to a friend’s shop to help take care of clients for my daily wages.” But the money Victoria could make on this part-time basis was by no means enough to support herself and her young son.

Victoria’s situation became desperate. At her critical hour, a friend introduced her to the Africa Assistance Plan (AAP), IAS’ partner in microfinance in Ghana. In her own words, Victoria describes the life-changing events that happened next. “After being introduced by a friend, IAS/AAP gave me a loan to start a business when I had nothing. I entered into the selling of clothes and it has helped me take care of my child’s education. I am very happy that I have this business as extra income apart from my profession as a hairdresser.”

Now, in addition to her hairdressing business which is slowly expanding, Victoria also has a second entrepreneurial job she can count on, selling adult and children’s clothes and undergarments for supplemental income.

October Snapshot

Ghana’s future generations will succeed, in part due to the capacity built into their lives and families today through microfinance

Your partnership with IAS is
like Victoria succeed across Africa

When asked how beneficial the assistance of IAS and AAP involvement in her life has been, Victoria’s response was profound. “IAS/AAP has really helped me. They have taught me that from nothing, something CAN be created – and if you don’t personally stand for something, then anything can make you fall.”

Just like most of the entrepreneurs throughout Africa with whom IAS partners, Victoria has long-term goals that extend well beyond her current business endeavors. Through income generated from her clothing enterprise, Victoria is not only meeting her family’s daily needs, but she is saving for the future as well. She tells IAS, “I have a certificate as a professional hairdresser, but not enough money to establish myself fully in the business, so my vision is to continue my trading business while I also render door-to-door services to my hairdressing clients – all the while saving money to establish myself fully in hairdressing.”

When an investment of as little as $150 can have such a dramatic impact on the future of a family, it becomes exciting to invest in the lives of the less fortunate. And, such small investments are possible for most of us. This month I am especially grateful for your partnership with IAS. Together, lives are being changed, and people like Victoria throughout the developing world are truly “making the cut.”

With thanks,

Douglas Mann
IAS — America

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