Rhoda Anayo is a passionate entrepreneur, wife, and mom to six children, all of whom attend school. Her eldest son is a senior in high school and wants to continue his education at a university, but will first need to pass his exams at the end of this year. Rhoda’s husband grows sugar cane, which Rhoda is then able to sell at her savvy makeshift market stall.
Rhoda started her business in July of 2014 and now, over a year later, she has made 300,000 shillings (close to 90 US dollars). Compared to what businesswomen make in America per year, this might not seem like a lot, but in Uganda, Rhoda’s starting business is proving to be quite successful. She got this opportunity by borrowing money from the Village Savings and Loan Association Drop in the Bucket requires of her village, Dokolo Komuda.
The Dokolo Komuda VSLA works in a systematic way so that community members have a chance to start any business venture. The association began with each member paying 1,000 shillings per week (less than one US dollar per week) in order to build the total savings pool. Members can now borrow up to 250,000 shillings (around 70 US dollars) with a one-time interest rate of 20 percent. They have 30 days to repay the amount borrowed including interest.
For someone like Rhoda, who would normally just be a housewife doing daily domestic tasks such as cleaning, cooking, and taking care of her children, with the VSLA, Rhoda can now spend some of her time using her mind in an innovative way in order to make money and better provide for her family and community. Rhoda started her business by borrowing 100,000 shillings (almost 30 US dollars) in order to buy the necessary items to put together her market stall – flour, sweets, soap, bread, and other small items. She paid her loan with the added interest back shortly. She again borrowed 200,000 shillings (almost 60 US dollars) in order to increase her inventory and make even more profit. Rhoda makes 80,000-100,000 shillings per week, which means she is extremely successful based on how much she initially borrowed.
Rhoda is so grateful she was given the chance to start her own business. She has noticed that since her market stall was up and running, her family’s total income increased, making it easier to meet their immediate needs, such as schooling costs, clothing, food, etc. Her children can now have better lives and more opportunities. Rhoda has big plans for the future of her business. She wants to start cultivating rice in the nearby swamps, which would make her even more money and provide her community with a steady food staple.