How It Works

MicroLoan Foundation Australia helps some of the poorest women in the world feed their families, send their children to school and pay for life saving medicines.

We are a very different kind of charity, offering hope, not handouts. By providing small loans (Average A$50) and ongoing business training and support, MicroLoan empowers women in rural Malawi to set up self-sustainable businesses. The profits from these businesses enable the women to work themselves and their families out of poverty.

MicroLoan’s Innovative Model

Below is a detailed step-by-step account of how MicroLoan’s model works:

  • MicroLoan Loan Officers (local staff in-country) visit isolated rural villages by motorbike and tell people about MicroLoan’s services.
  • Women interested in receiving loans and training form groups of approximately 12-20 members.
  • Women receive training before their first loan, covering subjects such as work as a group, managing their money and understanding their rights and responsibilities. This training is delivered through participatory methodologies such as role plays and games so that it is accessible to women with no formal education.
  • Groups open a bank account and develop a savings plan.
  • Loan Officers disburse loans. Average loan value: $58.
  • Loans are invested into businesses. Many of the women will be starting a business for the first time; some will be investing in small businesses they already run but require capital to further develop them and make them profitable. Businesses types vary, including market stalls, bakeries, and second-hand clothes shops.
  • Every fortnight, groups receive more training to help ensure the success of their businesses. Topics include market research. pricing and profits, and business planning. During these meetings, women use their business profits to make loan repayments.
  • Repayments are recycled, and reused to make more loans. So every penny that is given to MicroLoan Foundation Australia, keeps on giving. Over and over again.
  • Women invest their increased business profits in feeding their families, paying for medicine, clothing and school fees. They also make small, regular savings; increasing their self-sustainability for the future.

98% of loans we make are repaid.

Once repaid, we recycle the loans and use the money to make more loans.

Usually, women take a succession of loans over several years so they can build up their businesses.

Once they are self-sufficient, we support a new client, enabling more women to transform their lives.

It’s a brilliantly simple, powerful idea: every penny Gift to MicroLoan Foundation Australia keeps on giving, over and over again.