As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact on people and livelihoods is likely to be felt for months, even years, to come. Researchers warn that up to half a billion people could slide into poverty globally, reversing three decades of progress. Governments have recently moved to jumpstart economies and ease social restrictions, but months of lockdowns, layoffs and stay-at-home measures mean it will take time for people and businesses to bounce back. In developing countries especially, where most people survive on the informal economy, the road to recovery is likely to be even longer and steeper. According to estimates, some 1.6 billion people in the informal economy could lose their livelihoods as a result of the pandemic. The pressures on, and limited resources in, developing economies make it difficult for governments to provide adequate—if any—relief support. That’s why a growing number of investors, donors, and other actors have rallied to step in and support low-income and vulnerable populations during the pandemic. Microfinance institutions (MFIs) can be critical partners in reaching the most affected populations effectively and efficiently. As institutions that serve people at the base of the economic pyramid—where the need for assistance is greatest during crises—MFIs already have the clientele, infrastructure and trust necessary for an impactful COVID-19 response. Against this background, FINCA Impact Finance recently helped form the Microfinance Coalition to add the industry’s voice to the COVID-19 response. The institutions in the coalition collectively serve more than 80 million people, nearly three-quarters of whom are women. If leveraged strategically, the world’s MFIs could save millions of livelihoods. The access they provide to credit, savings and other financial tools for self-employment activities will be even more needed in a post-pandemic world in which formal employment has been decimated. They can be core partners in putting emergency relief funds into the hands of the most marginalized until the economy starts to rebound. And they can leverage their offices and agents in the distribution of emergency supplies as well as up-to-date and accurate information about the virus. But to do any of this, MFIs need assistance and support from investors, policymakers and donors. MFIs need their investors to work with them to allow them to stay in business. They need policymakers to ensure that measures are taken to protect big banks that primarily serve the well-off also protect small banks that serve the poor. And they need donors to help them cover the losses that they are likely to incur and continue to onboard the world’s poor into the digital economy. The Microfinance Coalition stands ready to partner in COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts.
For more than 17 years, Eugénie Kabeya has been sewing women’s clothes from her tiny shop in Kinshasa, DRC. She became a FINCA customer in 2003, first as part of a village bank that was meeting in the Bandalungwa area. Later she became the president of her group and then managed to get an individual loan. Over the years, she built her business with a mix of grit and entrepreneurial spirit—and loans from FINCA DRC. But all of that changed with the arrival of COVID-19 in the DRC.
Almost overnight, things got worse. I started having less clients and life became suddenly hard. I had almost 20 years running this sewing business and had been able to support my entire family. I was able to cover everything I need with the money earned from this business. All of that changed.According to Ms. Kabeya, it happened so suddenly, and people in her community initially focused on how to survive. That meant finding new sources to secure food and medicine. It also meant no one was thinking about clothes. She estimates that in the first month of the pandemic, she began losing 70% of her monthly revenue and could only retain 5 of the 12 employees she had. But in those first weeks, another idea sparked—one uniquely fitting for Ms. Kabeya’s skills and current needs.
When I first thought about producing masks, I doubted that it could work. I tried a few times, but eventually stopped thinking about it. But one day I was talking with the manager at my local FINCA branch about the difficulties I was facing with my business and she reminded me: I am a tailor! I could easily put that to use to make masks and help my business by selling them to compensate the losses I was experiencing because of COVID-19.With the encouragement of the FINCA staff at Victoire Branch, Ms. Kabeya got to work by procuring fabric, thread and elastic. She drew the model, then jumped right into sewing. The masks run between $0.65 to $1.3. Because of word of mouth, she hasn’t had to sell any masks on the street, rather, orders started coming in from different people, as well as associations and small enterprises. With the quick sales, she was soon able to call two people back to work to support making masks. For her, that was one of the best moments.
It helped bring my life back to normal. I’m doing business and helping people protect themselves from the pandemic. And my prices are very affordable to low-income people in my town.Ms. Kabeya tries to put her special touch to make each mask different, but most of the time, she said, customers who order clothes prefer having a mask made of the same piece of fabric as their clothes. But still, some let her be creative. More than that, she’s begun thinking creatively about her next steps for her business.
COVID-19 has taught me a different way of selling: e-selling really works! We think that in the future, we can better communicate our business through the internet and social media. We have understood that even though everything is closed, the internet still works, people communicate on social media, and even business goes through it. We plan to launch an online platform for selling all of our production.To date, she’s produced 5,500 masks. And she is just getting started.
On Sunday, March 8, 2020, FINCA International’s marketing director, Bob Price, flew from Washington, DC to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Bob had originally planned to visit Haiti in November of 2019, but violent protests against the government had forced him to push the trip back. While the protests had ended, Bob now was flying out in the days just before the full reality of the coronavirus in Haiti (and United States) descended. The purpose of the trip was to check in with local staff and clients on a suite of activities that FINCA Haiti had launched over the previous year: a new branch in Cabaret focused on agricultural lending, a “virtual branch” for the growing number of clients who were finding out about FINCA via the internet and social media, and the roll-out of a digital field automation (DFA) system that would relegate paper applications to the dustbins of history, reduce the cost of loan processing and allow credit officers to give clients real-time credit decisions. The itinerary had Bob working his way up the country’s western coast – Monday in Cabaret, Tuesday in St. Marc and Wednesday in Gonaives with a quick trip inland to the tiny town of Savane Carree. On Thursday, he’d be back in Port-au-Prince to discuss takeaways with the local management team and to visit clients in the bustling market of Croix de Bouquets.
The Coronavirus in Haiti has Changed ThingsMore or less the trip happened as planned, but the rising threat of the coronavirus in Haiti changed the focus. When Bob purchased his ticket in mid-February COVID-19 seemed far away. It was devastating China but hadn’t traveled much beyond. There were fewer than a dozen confirmed cases in the U.S. By the time Bob boarded the flight in Washington, DC on the morning of March 8, it was clear to many that things were going to get worse. But in consultation with FINCA management it was assumed that not much would change before he returned on March 13, a mere five days later. That turned out not to be the case. Italy went on lockdown on March 9. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared the virus a pandemic and the first U.S. travel restriction went into effect. President Trump declared a national emergency the day of his return. And Haiti began closing its borders just two days AFTER he returned. What all that meant for the trip was that COVID-19 coloured all conversations. It also made it abundantly evident – quickly and forcefully – just how vulnerable Haitians were going to be when COVID-19 arrived. Haiti isn’t ready for the coronavirus.
Why COVID-19 in Haiti Could be DevastatingHaitians almost uniformly live in close quarters, have minimal access to health care, little or no savings or other form or financial security, and rely on daily face-to-face interactions for their livelihood (market selling, light manufacturing, food stalls). They are paid and pay for pretty much everything with cash. Given their reality, it is impossible to imagine that the basic precautions being recommended in the U.S. and the rest of the developed world – social distancing and closing down non-essential services – could be feasible in Haiti or any of the other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia or Central America where FINCA works. The first morning of visits included an hour-long conversation with the Cabaret branch manager and a credit officer who is pilot testing the DFA system. They discussed and demonstrated how the technology would change FINCA’s business and improve client’s experience in working with FINCA. There is no doubt that the benefits are huge. As just one example, most credit officers spend as much as an hour or two each morning putting together the paperwork that they will need for the day. When all the information is on a tablet, she can be out the door in minutes. But the technology doesn’t circumvent the need to visit clients to assess their business. After leaving the office, Bob and the credit officer went to the town’s market to meet a client. The journey had them weaving their way down a street cheek-to-jowl with pedestrians, motorbikes, cars, vans and buses. The market itself was even more crowded. With vendors’ goods spilling out of their stalls, the main corridor was perhaps three feet wide. Getting to Charité Marcelin’s little shop required pushing past people nearly constantly. There was no way that Charité could run her business and also practice social distancing or basic hygiene. While the conversation with Charité didn’t turn to COVID-19 specifically – on March 9 the virus was the leading news story but it wasn’t yet the only news story, her response to one question was perhaps prophetic. Asked what happens if she couldn’t work, Charité said she wouldn’t survive long. “I spend each day’s profit as fast as it comes in.” By that evening the stories coming out of the U.S. was of panic buying, grocery shelves depleted of meat, flour and toilet paper. COVID-19 was becoming much more real. Could something similar happen to Charité and her customers? If the U.S. could see shortages, what would happen in Haiti?
Limiting Community Spread of COVID-19 in Haiti will HurtOn the morning of Wednesday, March 11, Bob’s first visit was to a school in Gonaives run by Kerlande Toussaint and her husband Annesse Aristild. The school educates some 600 children from pre-school through middle school, one of the larger FINCA-funded “businesses” in Haiti. Annesse explained to Bob that FINCA loans have helped them build the school over the years. While Annesse might be able to get loans from a commercial bank, he and Kerlande “stick with FINCA out of loyalty.” They also love the new technology that FINCA is rolling out. But no technology that FINCA provides can address the fact that schools in Haiti absolutely require physical presence. Kerlande had noted to Bob that the school’s only computers are used by her and the other administrators. If it was necessary to close the school to slow the spread of the coronavirus in Haiti, there would be no distance learning taking place during the shutdown. And just eight days after Bob’s visit the government of Haiti issued just such a school closure decree. The government’s decision to close schools was certainly the right move. Hundreds of children and adults milling about reasonably cramped schools like that run by Kerlande and Annesse would be an ideal location for virus the spread. But the school closure would have devastating effects on the students’ education as well as on the financial situation of the teachers and of Kerlande and Annesse. And with no public support for the school, it is certainly possible that the school itself would not survive.
Haitians Need Our HelpAs the United Nations and the World Health Organization have noted, low-income countries like Haiti are poorly prepared for COVID-19. Haiti, for example, has fewer than six ventilators per million people a rate that is 30 times smaller than the U.S. (a still insufficient 180 per million people). The numbers of doctors, nurses and hospital beds is similarly woefully inadequate for what could be a huge demand for medical care in the coming weeks and months. Whether there is still time to bolster Haiti’s health care system before the pandemic hits with its full force is an open question. But if the health care response doesn’t respond to the demand, Haiti will face the possibility of debilitating social instability. It is clear that the time for action is now. And once the pandemic has ended and even while it rages, it will be incumbent on FINCA and entities like it to be there to help rebuild ravaged lives and economies. This chapter is just the beginning of Haiti’s coronavirus story. If we don’t act, the stories to come could be less pleasant to read.
Dear Friends, The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing the world in which we live day-by-day, hour-by-hour, almost minute-by-minute. After weeks watching in disbelief as the pandemic unfolded in communities far from our own, my colleagues and I at FINCA now see it affecting our lives and the lives of people we know and love. As we monitor the spread of the virus, our primary concern is for our employees and our customers in the nearly four dozen countries that we touch. To help slow the spread of the disease, we’ve eliminated non-essential travel and made it easy for our employees to practice social distancing and care for their families by encouraging teams to work remotely. Even more importantly, we’re assessing the risks faced by our clients, staff and partners in the world’s more remote corners and determining how best to respond to their needs. Ultimately, we know that they will bear the greatest burden from COVID-19. For them, following even the most basic prevention guidelines could be difficult. The communities they live in lack basic services such as clean water, health care infrastructure and reliable energy service. They are at risk from the virus itself and are among the most financially vulnerable, with little or no resources to support them through extended economic hardship. They will need our help, and we must be ready to provide it before they even ask. I am confident that the world will prevail against this immense challenge. If we respond appropriately, we might even emerge stronger and more united as a global community. FINCA will continue to share information with its staff, clients and partners about safe behavior, be decisive and diligent in taking preventative measures, and work hard to support our customers where we can with solutions that fit the problems they face. As we have further updates, we’ll post them on our website, Twitter and Facebook. In the meantime, my colleagues and I at FINCA wish you good health and safety. Sincerely yours, Rupert W. Scofield Chairman, FINCA Canada
With only 10 years left to achieve the 17 SDGs, we as a global community have accomplished a less than proportionate amount of progress toward each goal. It is our hope that this piece educates and inspires others to look at how they too can contribute to the achievement of the SDGs. Because only through worldwide cooperation and action will we be able to accomplish these ambitious goals by 2030. With our 2020 resolution to continue working toward our mission to alleviate poverty, learn how BrightLife, the social enterprise we created, contributes to the achievement of the SDGs.
BrightLifeBrightLife is a social enterprise in Uganda created by FINCA International. Its mission is to provide access to and financing for basic service products. This includes solar home systems, improved cookstoves and productive use assets. BrightLife directly and indirectly contributes to 9 of 17 SDGs:
SDG 1: No PovertyBrightLife improves access to essential basic services for low-income consumers who would otherwise not have these services. These essential services include clean energy, clean cooking and clean water. Many products can also be used to generate income, creating new revenue streams to help consumers move out of poverty. This is exactly what Josephine Nabyalu did. She previously used kerosene lamps to light her shop at night, but the strong odor often repelled customers and the lamps would sometimes leak and ruin her produce. Now, with her BrightLife solar lamps, her stall is illuminated well after dark so she can remain open longer and attract more customers.
SDG 2: Zero HungerBrightLife’s clean cooking products provide a more efficient and safe way to prepare food. Users can prepare food in less time, and often save money by spending less on fuel.
These cookstoves help me to prepare meals much faster and they produce less smoke which has improved my health, and they also save me money by economizing firewood and charcoal usage. -Joweria Nalwadda
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-BeingBrightLife products directly improve air quality and reduce the number of health-related illnesses and deaths due to smoke inhalation. These BrightLife products also prevent air pollution and reduce the risk of fires from using kerosene lanterns.
SDG 5: Gender EqualityBrightLife offers various financing options for its products, enabling women and other low-income populations access to life-enhancing products. Additionally, BrightLife’s products reduce opportunities for violence against women by providing safety lights for houses and reducing the need for frequent firewood retrieval. Allen Nakayenga is just one example of a woman who improved her family’s lives through BrightLife. She learned about BrightLife through her women’s [saving and loaning] group and used a FINCA group loan to purchase her first solar lantern. Her children can now read and do their homework at night, Allen is saving money on kerosene, and she is also able to walk safely to evening community gatherings.
SDG 6: Clean Water and SanitationBrightLife has provided access to water filtration products that bring clean drinking water to low-income populations without access to clean water.
SDG 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyBrightLife’s mission is to enable low-income populations to have access to modern, clean energy products that provide significant efficiency improvements. This was what attracted Rose Nayiga and her husband Godfrey to BrightLife. Through the flexibility of low monthly payments, they could finally afford a $62 solar home system. After the loss of one of their children to a kerosene-related fire, solar lighting gave them the peace of mind that every parent deserves, regardless of income level.
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthBrightLife provides entrepreneurs with the opportunity to start and grow their businesses through its products. For example, solar lighting products enable businesses to stay open later, which increases revenue.
SDG 10: Reduced InequalitiesBy enabling access to life-enhancing products for low-income populations, BrightLife is reducing inequalities within its markets.
People say solar is expensive, but these products are durable, powerful and they save me money over time. -Allen Nakayenga
SDG 17: Partnerships for the GoalsBrightLife works in collaboration with a variety of actors—donor institutions, governments, technical assistance providers, researchers—to tackle energy access and financial inclusion.
With the holidays around the corner, we know that everyone is busy preparing for special gatherings with friends and family—cleaning the house, buying gifts, planning travels, and of course, cooking delicious food. To help you out during this busy time of year, we have gathered a couple of our favorite holiday recipes from clients around the world to share with you. Though these recipes may not be what you’re used to, we urge you to give at least one—if not both—a try. Our clients have worked hard to build their businesses, and they are excited to share some recipes from their countries with the supporters that helped them achieve their business goals.
Holiday Recipe 1: Guatemalan Hot ChocolateIn Guatemala, FINCA client Gladiz Maritza Palencia Morales runs a chocolate shop just outside of Antigua. Every day her shop produces about 80 pounds of chocolate, which she sells to 50 local shops and vendors. If ever you were to visit Gladiz’s chocolate shop, you would be greeted with the rich aroma of roasting cocoa beans and a beaming Gladiz to say hello. Gladiz is extremely grateful for the FINCA loans she has received throughout the years and the supporters who made them possible. Chocolate is an expensive product to produce and requires a lot of business inputs up front. When she decided to start her business, Gladiz knew it would be difficult, but at the urging of her brother, and the financial support FINCA provided, she decided to take the risk and pursue her dream. And Gladiz is so happy that she did. Not only has she established a successful chocolate business, but with the increased income she receives from her shop, she now has enough money to send all of her children to university—something she could only dream of before starting her business. Below is a holiday recipe for Guatemalan hot chocolate, which Gladiz would be proud for you to make. Whether using chocolate directly from her shop or from your local grocery store, this recipe is sure to be a hit at any holiday event. Ingredients
- 1-2 tablets Guatemalan pressed cocoa (look for pressed cocoa in the international aisle of your grocery store)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cinnamon stick
- pinch salt
Holiday Recipe 2: Tanzanian PizzaJane Hendry runs a successful restaurant in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In addition to having a passion for cooking, she also has a strong business sense and is no stranger to hard work. When she began her business 15 years ago, Jane used a FINCA loan to buy a freezer and refrigerator. This savvy investment enabled her to buy food in bulk at wholesale prices. This cut down on her operating costs, which created more revenue for her business. Throughout the years, Jane has continued financing smart business investments through FINCA. Her restaurant has since expanded to include a van for making deliveries, a garden where she grows her own vegetables and herbs, and an expanded seating area. But more importantly, her successful business has made a huge impact on her family’s lives. Through the income earned from her business, Jane was able to pay for her children’s education and buy her own land where she plans to build a new home. Jane is very grateful for the support she has received from FINCA over the years, and she knows none of it would have been possible without our supporters. That is why she is so excited for you to try making a Tanzanian pizza. It is her hope that you will enjoy this little taste of Tanzania while using some typical holiday leftovers in a fun new way. Ingredients Dough
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup water; you might need more so add a little at a time
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 tomatoes diced
- 1 cup minced leftover turkey
- 2-inch cream cheese cube
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 egg
- 1 chili (such as jalapeno) optional
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp canola oil
A Holiday Thanks To YouAll over the world, people look forward to spending time with friends and family during the holidays, and our clients are no different. We hope that as you share these recipes with your friends and family this holiday season, that you feel our clients’ immense gratitude for the supporters who enabled them to follow their dreams and achieve their goals
This research looks at how and why a specific segment of early adopters in Uganda used entry-level solar energy products to make their initial steps up the energy ladder. These first steps are important because consumers must overcome significant barriers on the path to adoption, including cost, lack of familiarity and the pull of old habits. Positive initial experiences can build confidence and nurture the demand for future purchases, while broken equipment and unfulfilled expectations can just as easily prejudice them against an entire class of products. Understanding the experiences and motivations of early adopters opens a window into this critical moment in the market’s inception and can inform further efforts to build demand for solar as well as other emerging products that address basic needs for the world’s poor. It is also central for understanding the social impact of these products, because turning potential benefits into real-life improvements depends on the customer behaviors that surround them. The research study and report were led by Scott Graham and Anahit Tevoysan of FINCA International’s research team, in collaboration with Eric Verploegen from MIT D-Lab. Study participants were customers of BrightLife, a social enterprise by FINCA International in Uganda.
Executive SummaryDownload the Executive Summary »
White PaperDownload the White Paper »
FINCA International’s BrightLife is piloting a new initiative that brings solar lanterns to rural schools in Uganda. The project, led by FINCA UK with funding from a FINCA UK supporter and the Signify Foundation, allows students to use solar lanterns in school and borrow them to take home—much like you would borrow a book from a library—to facilitate evening studying for off-grid households.
Off-Grid Students are at a Disadvantage Compared to their On-Grid PeersWhen the sun sets across most of sub-Saharan Africa, where two-thirds of the population has no access to electricity, the school day ends and learning stops. For an entire half day, students and teachers must suspend academic activities—reading, homework, tutoring, grading—until the natural light returns in the morning. Rural areas are the least connected to the electrical grid, yet their schools and students must compete for results with their more connected urban counterparts. For those lucky to be on-grid, the electricity is often unreliable and expensive, while few alternatives exist. Countries like Uganda have committed to improving educational access and outcomes for all children, but grid and other infrastructural constraints continue to pose the biggest handicap to rural schools. To contribute to efforts to level the playing field for these rural schools, FINCA UK has joined hands with one of its supporters and the Signify Foundation to bring a solar energy program, known as “Lamp Library,” to schools in developing countries. The project is piloting in Uganda through FINCA International’s clean energy social enterprise, BrightLife.
The Lamp Library Helps to Create a Level Playing FieldThe project identifies a selection of schools in peri-urban and rural areas that have little or no access to electricity and retrofits them to house 100 solar lamps per school. In the selection process, BrightLife meets with the school faculty, students and parents to introduce the project and gauge local community support. Students in selected schools will be able to use lamps on-campus and have the option to also take them home for evening study. In addition, a curriculum co-developed with an educational consultant will teach students about the benefits of solar energy. This program will give the students’ households direct access to BrightLife so they can learn more about its innovative and life-enhancing clean energy products. School administrations also have the opportunity to benefit from training in entrepreneurship and how to leverage this project to generate new revenue streams for their schools. Stefan Grundmann, President & CEO of BrightLife, had this to say:
It is easy to underestimate the value of light if you haven’t experienced off-grid living, but for students it could be the difference between pursuing academic interests and settling for a lifetime of unexplored potential. Our hope is that the Lamp Library can help to facilitate more learning and academic engagement in rural schools.The first Lamp Library officially opened in February in Mbute, a public primary school in Mpigi District, 60 miles outside the capital, Kampala. In the coming months, the project will be rolled out to two additional schools located in Jinja District in eastern Uganda. Combined, the three schools serve nearly 1,200 students.
Assessing the Impact of Solar Lighting on EducationBrightLife will monitor the participating schools on a monthly basis to review progress, track impact metrics and introduce additional clean energy products to interested families. As part of its mission, the project intends to study the impact that solar energy access can have on students’ education, particularly if energy access leads to greater resiliency in schools and households. In addition to the goal of improving educational outcomes, the project also hopes to create a pathway for improved energy access among low-income communities. If you are interested in learning more about the Lamp Library initiative and donating to support the project, please contact Bill Lane at [email protected].
While financial inclusion has been on the rise globally, driven by mobile phones and the internet, the gap in account ownership between men and women has stagnated. In fact, according to the World Bank’s 2017 Global Findex, the gender gap has widened in some countries, including Pakistan.
At financial institutions, Pakistani men outnumber women account holders by 68 percent. In mobile banking, the gap widens to 78 percent.Since FINCA Microfinance Bank Limited (“FINCA Pakistan“) re-branded in 2013, it has been working tirelessly to bring financial solutions closer to women. Last year, FINCA Pakistan reached an agreement to provide SimSim, its digital payments solution, to Ghar Par, a professional home beauty service. Ghar Par provides a platform for women to offer their beauty services to other women at their homes in Islamabad and Lahore. The partnership between FINCA Pakistan and Ghar Par provides beauticians with SimSim accounts. SimSim, Pakistan’s first free-to-use mobile wallet, was developed in partnership with Finja, a Pakistan-based fintech company. It enables Ghar Par’s employees to make and receive payments digitally. Designed to be as easy to use as possible, the product minimizes the hassle for women who may be less familiar with mobile technology or banking. In a country where only 7 percent of women have bank accounts, digital platforms could be transformative. SimSim is, quite literally, the first bank account ever held by many of the women who use the service, including many Ghar Par employees. It solves several barriers to financial inclusion for women in Pakistan, including accessibility, security, privacy and convenience. Women employees can now electronically transfer their earnings without the inconvenience or risk of carrying cash back to the head office. Further, digital platforms such as SimSim offer FINCA Pakistan and other financial service providers an opportunity to understand the payment behavior of users so that they can tailor credit and other products that further strengthen women’s inclusion into the financial system.
Judith Ocendi lives with her husband, Samuel, a home builder, and their two children, ages 5 and 16, in Uganda. Two years ago, Judith was looking for work when she met Joseph, a FINCA Uganda employee. Joseph told Judith about BrightLife, a FINCA initiative that brings clean energy products to poor and off-grid families. Judith was already familiar with FINCA’s microfinance services. In fact, many of the women in her community were members of Village Banking™ groups. With the backing of a trusted name like FINCA, BrightLife caught Judith’s attention. Even better, it would allow her to make an impact doing something she was experienced in: selling solar energy products. So, Judith applied to become a senior sales agent for BrightLife.
I really enjoy working with the grassroots, local people—those with varying socioeconomic status. I like being able to change peoples’ lives and perceptions about what is possible.For Judith, the job with BrightLife aligned her career interests and personal goals. Employment with BrightLife allows Judith not only to pay her children’s school fees, but also to help her local community. In just one year with BrightLife, Judith has seen the special bond FINCA creates with its customers. “One man told me he really likes the way FINCA follows up with its clients—always checking-in to see how they are doing and to introduce new products and services that benefit their lives,” recounted Judith.
He said he likes how FINCA remembers each and every client.After demonstrating strong commitment and results, Judith was promoted to a sales supervisor. Her leadership will be a great asset as BrightLife looks to grow and bring clean energy to more Ugandans.