Small Loans, Big Differences
William Dube is a farmer in Limpopo province, South Africa. He grows herbs such as chamomile, basil, jasmine and eucalyptus.
Until 2002, he made little profit and thus remained trapped in subsistence. That year, he received a small loan, guaranteed by the Rural Enterprise and Agricultural Development Trust, as well as a course in business training from Africare.
He invested in doubling his cultivation to 750 acres and, in the process, created 30 jobs for area workers. His herbs are now marketed internationally — and profitably — through the South African company, Edma Essential Oils.
The $1 million trust was established in 2001 by Africare, with South African stakeholders as partners, to guarantee commercial loans to resource-poor black farmers who had been disenfranchised under the apartheid regime. By the end of 2002, eight entrepreneurs like William Dube had received trust-guaranteed loans, in turn creating about 100 new jobs.