Marima had an idea—a good one, but the irregular income from her husband's mutton shop was barely enough to put food on their table. She often dreamed of opening a business alongside her husband's, but every morning, when she awoke to an empty cupboard, her hopes would vanish.
But then, while participating in her Self-Help Group (a savings group with other women in her community), Marima heard about the loan capital that Five Talents offers to qualified individuals in partnership with the Anglican Diocese of Madras in India. It turns out she was a strong candidate for a loan: After all, she was familiar with business since she had helped her husband with his. She knew the local market, and she knew what void her business could fill.
So with a $125 dollar loan, Marima began to live out her dream. The money paid for a few varieties of tea, and some small "tiffin"—food served for light meals—which her first customers quickly bought. After a few months in operation, she began offering breakfast, too. Today, she is making a profit of about $3.25 to $3.75 per day, a part of which goes to repay her loan. Without the Five Talents microloan, she might still be dreaming of a business, rather than running one.
Five Talents began funding the India-Chennai program in early 2005 in response to the devastation caused by the tsunami of 2004. The unprecedented loss of human life and destruction primarily impacted the poor in rural areas like South India, where survival revolves around subsistence industries, such as fishing. Click here to read more about the program.