Anna Bazier, her brother and her child outside Nalikondaponay school, Malawi.

 Malawi - Female entrepreneurs.

Commissioned photo journey - MicroLoan Foundation UK.

MicroLoan Foundation helps female entrepreneurs to succeed in their chosen business.

Businesses are usually very simply started, focused on the needs of the women and, of course, what is available to sell in a certain environment.

There is a need to consider what we know about the different types and models of microfinance and whether or not they work for whom and in what circumstances.

Microfinance works differently in different regions of sub-Saharan Africa.

It depends on population density, attitudes to the debt, group -cohesion enterprise development, financial literacy and financial services.

There is an increasing need to understand the evidence from sub-Saharan Africa, where development aid is proportionally large, and where there are still majority non - profit service providers in the microfinance industry.

According to different studies on microfinance, group financing and borrowing works better than individual ones.

Its proven that individually given loans were often not paid back, which led to increase of suicide, poverty and actually in this sense, it can cause more harm than benefit... especially talking about the poorest within uncontrolled circumstances.

In Malawi, women choose their group members: it is strictly based on communal judgment and trustworthiness. - It has a form of democracy around it, which helps empower the women in a largely male-dominated society. The process is totally different as group loans are given, and not individual ones, which then increases the sense of shared responsibility along with the sense of group -cohesion and community gathering spirit as well.

These reflects a historical cultural identity which is deeply embedded in the African existence, (- and which historically is done dominantly by males) and mirrors the negotiating skills of communities historically.


A village nearby Lilongwe: the houses are made of mud bricks. 

Most of Africa's rural people use natural materials, these are available locally.


Anna Bazier


Enala Banda (24) opened her fish and tomato stall a couple month ago. 

From the profit, she was able to buy a field to grow maze on it. It provides food 3 times a day for her family.


Mary Mwale and her son in their shop. 

Since she opened her shop she earns 1000 kwacha ( 6pounds) a week, this is 

10 times more than before. 


Women gathers in Galika village for their business training,


Dorothy with her family.


Dorothy established a sewing business, 

From the profit she is able to pay the school fees for three of her children, and provide food twice a day for the whole family.


Dorothy's husband with their daughter.

In addition to Dorothy's sawing business he works on the family field and keeps 



Jimu prepares scones as a core of her business.

Scones made out of maze and water.


Child fast asleep on the doorstep of the kitchen hut.

Jimu, his mother sells scones to fund his studies.


Rose Chiwa and her shop.


Young boys relaxing on the field.


Women gathers inside the house for a meeting with their loan officer.

Micro loan gives loan to a group of women. 

These women establish their business individually, but they are responsible to pay the loan back to their group at the end of the loan cycle which is 4 month.

Micro loan in Malawi only supports female entrepreneurs.


Magret Butur with her children


Eve Nkhoma


Enala Banda (24) standing in her field where she grows maze.

Maze is a general source of food for the whole family. Her field provides food 

throughout the year.


Saraiphira and her smallest son, outside of her cottage in Galika village.


The hierarchy between the children defaults to the rule of the older ones.

The role of older children in bringing up their siblings is a serious task which they responsible for.


Patricia by her house.

Women gather to have their group meeting with their loan 



Saraiphira with her children in Galika village. 

She grows and sells vegetables. 

She has saved enough money to buy her own transport : a bicycle.


Father and son sew school uniforms,

Nkhotakota village, Lake Malawi.


Providing education to the children is one of the most important task that entrepreneur women wants to support when their business is successful.

boy in school Malawi, Africa,

Modester Piri at school. 

Her mother took some loan out to establish her fish business.

She usually sells campango - a fish similar to catfish.

Malawi, Africa, school education,

To get basic education: this is one of the most important mission to have in Africa, 

Women entrepreneurs set their business' up, in order to be able to afford school fees.


Prima in her house. 

Furnitures and curtains are the sign of a wealthy person.

She owns a motors & car parts shop. 

The business supports the whole family and provides education, food, and

clothing for her kids.


School kids playing football.

Their ball is made of used clothes stringed together.

Football is an important sport in Africa, all loves and support their own team which usually an English one.


Young woman dries cassava nearby her house Nkhotakota 


It smells like goat cheese and just as sourceful  as maze.

Farmer in Malawi,

Farmer with his cattles in Nkhotakota village school area.


Patricia  sells cooking oil and tomatoes.

She supports four children from which, one is her late sister's child.

Malawi, Africa, woman cooking,

Woman prepares dinner for family of eight. Nkhotakota village


Anna enjoys the cool  breeze in her house.

She has a travelling lodge with 24 rooms.

Her hair is nicely done, which in Africa is a sign of a successful business woman.


Woman putting clothes up to dry in Nkhotakota village.


Old woman prepares "nsima" (cooked maze) on a tripod in the kitchen hut.

Maze is one of the most resourceful food among Malawian people.


A teenage girl offers her services on the beach at Nkhotakota.

Young girls are often forced to sell their body in exchange for food.


Mufelepo's grandson sits next to his shoes he got from his grandmother.

His grandmother established a second hand clothes and shoe stall.


Fisherman at Nkhotakota bay. These boys are working for Catherine who has a successful fishing business.


Woman on Malawi Beach on their way to collect the dried clothes that they washed in the lake a couple hours before. 

Clothes are dried usually on green plants or on the ground.