Catherine, 55, is a grandmother, supporting six people including four children of school age. She moved from her home town of Port-Bergé to a bigger city with the hope of being able to provide the children with a better education. Although the city was a more prosperous place for her food business, the costs of transferring the goods from Port Bergé were too high to sustain.
Supporting six people in her family, Catherine was desperate to find a way to make her business more successful. One day, she noticed the Première Agence de MicroFinance-Madagascar building as she was passing by. Though she had never taken out loan, she applied, attracted by the easy access and low interest rates.
The first loan was a short-term loan for five months, of AR 800, 000 (USD 250). Satisfied by the results in her business and with the service offered by PAMF, she has since taken 14 different loans with PAMF, with the largest being AR 6,200,000 (USD 1,900). Catherine has used these loans to invest in her business, buying local products and diversifying her product range. She has also hired three employees to help her during high season, to assist in processing the high demand. In expanding her business, her expenses have increased from AR 200, 000 to AR 500,000, while her income has increased eightfold to AR 4,000,000.
Catherine has now constructed her own buildings, cultivated a four-hectare field of bare land in the city, and bought five castrated zebus for cattle. This has allowed her not only to secure education for her grandchildren, but also to own real estate assets and have money saved for the future. In addition to her family, Catherine’s successful business has also enabled her to support her neighbors whenever needed. “My relationship with PAMF has been very satisfactory,” she says. “I hope that this relationship will also inspire PAMF’s other clients.”