Women from the historic town of Dimeh on Bomi County highway have received LD$ 85,000 micro loan from the Flomo Theater Production. The loan is expected to improve the women’s livelihood and help in their own businesses.
Olivia Nenneh Swaray, Gender Officer at the Flomo Theater said: “We have built your artistic capacity over the years. It is now time that we strengthen your livelihood so that each and every one of you receiving the loan can contribute to the country’s economy.”
She added that though the funds may not be enough, when manage properly it would put them into the business world. She said further that individual success stories have proven to the Flomo Theater that the women of Dimeh are trustworthy, hardworking and businesslike.
“It could have been a disaster if the first seven women that received the loan early this year, didn’t pay back in the time allotted,” she told the gathering, adding that because of their sincerity and commitment everyone is benefiting from the second phase of the initiative.
The loan was given under the Ma-Gbessie Kiazolu Rural Women Livelihood and Loan Initiative Program, with 10 women receiving L$8,500 each for the start of the second phase. Five other persons are expected to receive their loans soon.
According to Mrs. Swaray, the Dimeh women leadership did the selections for those that would receive the loans. The US$10 interest rate added on the initial capital is meant to increase the number of beneficiaries for the third phase.
She disclosed that payment is in four phases, with a month break, and the first loan settlement of L$2,340 will begin September 31 through December 31.
A one-day training course on vital business management skills is provided for women prior to receiving the loan. Mrs. Swaray said the training would help them to learn business planning, analyze the market competition, and learn how to manage the flow of cash and to defeat the fear of becoming a businesswoman.
“The Flomo Theater will always be with the women of Dimeh in difficult times, building their capacity for progress, but please don’t default on the payment of your loans,” she cautioned the recipients.
Hon. Haja Fatta Siryon, launching the project said, “I’m satisfied with such a good endeavor that blesses women from my district. If I just stand here without giving full support to this program that empowers grassroots women, I will be doing harm to the cause of women empowerment.
“When you build the economic competence of a woman, you build a nation. These women are my people, and I promise an additional amount of US$1,000 so that the number of those benefiting from this program can increase to 25.
“This program will improve the livelihood of the women, given them a good reason to believe that they too can contribute towards national growth.
“I started with a little capital after the first Liberian civil war but was able to overcome the biggest struggles that prevent women from owning their own businesses.”
Hon. Siryon, who is also a successful businesswoman added: “Your determination matters in order to erase the notion that all through your life you can’t achieve success in business, though all you need is to open the door through implementation, training and a good knowledge of your business.”
“The training we received during the first phase of this project prepared us for a start in our business career,” said Famata Gbessey, one of several women who received the first loan.
She added: “We were able to jump at the chance to start our own businesses with the micro loan.” Often the women ask Flomo Theater to help them with expert business advice and to learn from each other through policy implementation.”