Sierra Leone is amongst the poorest countries of the world, with over 60% of her population living below the United Nations poverty line of USD1 per day. Though the country moved from 184th to 183rd in the Human Development Index of 2014, the position still remains the worst in the Mano River region. Financial access is extremely limited in Sierra Leone. According to the World Bank, out of 3.6 million adults, 3.1 million were unbanked in 2014. Only 12% of adult women in Sierra Leone own a transaction account.
We provide loans to women who are not served by other financial institutions, giving them the opportunity to start their own businesses in their local communities. Borrowers of microloans are not required to provide collateral, and can reimburse their loans on a weekly basis against competitive interest rates. Through this initiative we help the government of Sierra Leone achieve its goal of developing a feasible and fully functioning microfinance sector. We offer microloans along with other services, and provide small enterprise loans to entrepreneurs who are seeking to expand their business.
We deliver microloans through village organisations, an organised group of women who come together to improve their socio-economic position. The women meet weekly to make their loan repayments and to discuss credit decisions with our credit officers. We provide financial literacy training and technical assistance to these women, enabling them to increase income from existing activities as well as start new income generating activities.
Small enterprise programme
We offer small enterprise loans to entrepreneurs who seek to expand their business. The loans enable these business owners to create new employment opportunities and provide new services. The small enterprise loan is offered to individuals rather than groups. It is available for all entrepreneurs, with repayments made on a monthly basis. Some members of the microloan programme become eligible for small enterprise loan as their businesses expand, requiring bigger investment.
- Total borrowers: 37,615
- Total outstanding: USD 6.07 million
- Total disbursement: USD 32.06 million
- Micro-loan size: USD 143
- SEP loan size: USD 1,219