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DW Angola — Microfinance
In Angola’s urban areas, the poor depend on the informal economy. Retailing in the informal sector market is the principal “coping mechanism” for the urban poor in Luanda. The informal market is dominated by women, many of them heads of households and a large portion of them originally migrants to the city.
Rather than recognising the entrepreneurial creativity of informal sector marketers as an opportunity for inclusion into a post-war economic strategy, punitive policies have increasingly made it difficult for the poor to carry out their businesses in the streets particularly in the urban centre of Luanda. The poor have few opportunities to scale up or transform their informal business activities by borrowing from banks. They, arguably, are “poor risks” since they can guarantee no collateral. They are therefore obliged to pay extremely high interest rates to parallel market money dealers for very short term loans, often leaving them in chronic debt.
Development Workshop’s microfinance programmes in both Luanda and Huambo offer models to both Government and the private sector of how informal traders and small scale produces can pull themselves out of poverty and provide local economic opportunities through appropriate credit and savings mechanisms.
DW pioneered microfinance in Angola in 1996, and since 1999 the Sustainable Livelihoods Programme - SLP - has supported thousands of micro-entrepreneurs, (65% were women) with access to loans and savings.
DW led the field with the creation of KixiCredito (www.kixicredito.com), a self-sustainable micro-credit institution that helps improve the quality of life of economically active poor communities. KixiCredito has a portfolio of over 10,000 clients supported through seven branches in Luanda and Huambo provinces.
Today, DW continues to identify, assess, and monitor opportunities in Angola that support the country’s ongoing economic reconstruction.
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