14 March 2007
Pageant Loan Scheme
Micro-finance schemes operate in many countries of Africa, Asia and South America, but they are particularly common in rural South Africa. Micro-loans are offered to people who are too poor for normal banks to bother with, and enables them to set up their own small businesses. Pageant has set up some micro-loan schemes in The Gambia. Though Pageant provides the finance to start each scheme, they are run entirely by the village women. Women are lent 1500 Dalasis (about £30) to start or expand a small business, and they pay back 250 Dalasis (about £5) each month. When the whole sum had been repaid after six months, the money is available to be re-circulated to other village women.Currently there are two Pageant Loan Schemes, in Sika and Bakalarr. The Sika scheme is going extremely well. The third batch of women is just about to complete their loan, with all making full repayments on time. Six more ladies are eagerly waiting for their turn, and ALL the women of the first and second groups are still trading - a real success story. The first group in Bakalarr is coming to completion, and again, they are all paying back the correct amount and on time.
Pageant is ready to expand the scheme to two more villages, and are currently looking for ladies to run these schemes, who are locally respected and can communicate well.Read more about the Pageant Loan Scheme, and see the latest update on the Sika and Bakalarr schemes.