Business: Sculpture Shop
During family crisis, Shanthi formed a women’s self-help group, and became a leader for 19 members. By gathering the group’s savings, Shanthi invested in a small catering business and with the members of the group cooked meals to sell three times a day. After her husband’s death, Shanthi learned he had a lot of debt, and it was her responsibility to repay it.
With the funding from Seven Bar Foundation, Earth Aid gave her a small loan. She opened a sculpture shop, and slowly made money to repay her husband’s debt and send her children to school. However, society still makes her journey more and more difficult. They frown at women who own their own businesses and go out of their way to put her out of business. Shanthi continues to push through, and with larger loans has managed to rent a house out, continue her catering with the women and manage her sculpture shop. She continues to take out loans to improve her businesses and provide for her children. Because of microfinance loans, she has been able to break the cycle of poverty for herself and her children.