Being a long-term member of the Mfuwe community, we quickly realize the challenges one can face living in a remote part of Africa. Ideas, suggestions or even straight forward business ideas are extremely difficult to get from the ground for experienced business owners, let alone young entrepreneurs!
Being proud Winners of the Best Entrepreneur Award, presented to us as business owners within the Zambia tourism industry for demonstrating our innovative approach to business, the provision of an excellent Zambian experience, our contribution to the local population through opportunity generation and training and the positive approach to the environment, Personal Touch felt we could offer some assistance.
"Some people dream of success while others wake up and work hard at it" - Colin Powel
The majority of the population in rural areas in Zambia cannot improve their
lives by starting small businesses. Institutions that provide loans demand
collateral and charge high interest rates. The land on which people live and
build their homes belong to chiefdoms, hence cannot serve as collateral and
there is often a lack of other assets to guarantee loans.
Most of the people are uneducated and unemployed with the majority being subsistence farmers.
The lucky few with jobs earn just enough to sustain their (extended) family.
Through our personal experience with not only the financial institutions, the African bureaucracy and even when overcoming all of the above, the daunting process of registering a company and dealing with government organizations, we have come to realize that there is a need for charitable organizations such as Life Invest Foundation.
Life Invest Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization that is dedicated to investing in visions, dreams and straight forward business ideas in the broadest of perspectives. Most importantly, these visions or concepts should find their origin within the individuals themselves.
The focus will predominantly be in Zambia and hopefully expand to the rest of southern Africa in the future. Zambia is a landlocked country in Sub-Saharan Africa where the majority of people live in rural and remote areas under poor conditions. Most of them cannot achieve their dreams or goals in life for lack of opportunities which are taken for granted in developed countries. Facilities like education, health systems, communication and financial means for starting a small business or even to build a home. Though some are fortunate enough to have an education and a spirit of entrepreneurship, it is almost impossible for them to pursue their dreams and ambitions for lack of finances. Institutions that provide loans charge high interest rates and demand collateral.
The primary focus is on entrepreneurs by providing them with a
loan and training. The contributions received from companies like Personal Touch
or supportive individuals are used to finance loans for small and medium
businesses against a low interest rate. Once the loan is repaid, it will be
re-invested along with any profits gained. By doing so, there will be a maximum
snowball effect in improving the quality of life of the underprivileged.
Potential entrepreneurs are prepared for their undertaking and enrolled as follows:
The explanation of basic principles of entrepreneurship
The entrepreneur has to submit a business plan which is preferably self written
The business plan will be tested for originality and viability
Once the plan is approved, a loan will be provided without demanding collateral
The recipient will be supervised and closely monitored during the loan repayment period
The loan should be repaid within a maximum period of 2 years
Once the loan is repaid, the cycle starts anew.
Please note that the potential loan recipients should not be involved in businesses concerning weapons, narcotics, sex industry or other unethical ventures.
Personal Touch surely did some in-depth research into the sustainability of the various projects that have already been provided with loans. Factors such as honesty and fairness of the application process were taken into consideration as well. We will keep on assisting Life Invest Foundation by sharing our skills to improve the lives of the underprivileged! We are keen on doing much more than that since we have always believed in the education of people, rather then just giving...
"Give a man a fish and he will eat
for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime."
- Confucius -
We support Life Invest Foundation by providing much needed publicity for fundraising through our Bush-Spa and Vehicle hire. We also help to improve the quality of services provided by LIF by sharing our skills in entrepreneurship, expertise in other fields and our network of contacts, which has been highly appreciated by LIF and the local community.
For more information about projects, but also to assist with donations and/or to volunteer your professional skills, please visit their informative website by clicking here.
It makes us proud to congratulate
and welcome new and local business (wo)men
to the exciting world of entrepreneurship!
The Personal Touch
South Luangwa National Park
P.O. Box 58
Mfuwe, Eastern Province
Tel.: +260 216 246 123
Cell: +260 978 459 965
© 2012, The Personal Touch Ltd. in cooperation with Life Invest Foundation