Beating Loan Sharks with Community Savings: Chandra's Story

Chandra has been a member of a Five Talents savings group in Indonesia for over five years.

 After losing her low-paying job at a local factory, Chandra struggled to support her three children. "I got laid off. I still remember at that time our family could not depend on my husband as he did not have regular income. I had no choice but to buy a sewing machine and started to receive anyone who wants to have their clothes altered."

Chandra worked hard to develop her business. Through Five Talents local partner, GERHATI, she received business development training including simple lessons in bookkeeping, marketing, creating a business plan, product development, and promotion.

As a member of a small savings group, Chandra also gained access to business capital through loans. While traditional lenders in the area charge interest rates of up to 800%, GERHATI's small groups offer business loans and cover the lending costs through value added training and skills development, paid for by the groups themselves.

As Chandra's business grew she dreamed of sending her eldest daughter to college. "We are not the rich who can bequeath things to children. I can only give her education."

With her most recent loan, Chandra purchased two refrigerators and began selling ice cubes. The expanded business has brought new income and opened new opportunities. "This job enables me to send my first child to college", she says with a smile.

Chandra is now the treasurer of her savings group and her husband testifies:

"I'm proud of my wife. She is wise and she teaches children to be spiritually strong and to work hard. We are glad that my daughter is graduating soon."

Five Talents is helping many like Chandra to access savings groups, loans and business training. Members gain knowledge and resources to start new businesses and build income.