The lives of three women entrepreneurs from North Karnataka has dramatically changed thanks to the microcredit loans they got from investors through the MicroGraam project.
On Saturday, 35 investors from different parts of the world, who are also students of the Global Executive MBA programme at the Georgetown University and ESADE Business School (Spain) raised an investment of $2,000 (approximately `1 lakh) to help expand the businesses of Nagamma, Renukamma and Nirmala.
Nagamma used to raise cattle before she set up a flour mill after borrowing `50,000 micro loan at Byadagi. “I decided to do something on my own as I had to support my daughter’s education. I earn `6,000 a month now by grinding chilli powder and jowar,” said Nagamma, who is paying an interest rate of 15 per cent.
The stories of Renukamma, a former daily wager earning `50 a day to earning `3,000 a month now and Nirmala, a social worker who borrowed `15,000 for her daughter’s education, mirror the entrepreneurial efforts on in rural areas.
MicroGraam was started in 2011. With a repayment rate of 99.5 per cent, it facilitates loans by linking investors across the globe with borrowers. So far, 1,718 loans amounting to` 2.84 crore, impacting 7,700 lives have been given.
For the first time, MicroGraam has brought the GEMBA investors to India and has identified Vanasiri Rural Development Society as the NGO to reach out to the needy like Nagamma.