Economic Hope – Small Business Loans in Nepal

 

The trip to eastern Nepal went well, Mark Storm, ServLife staff in Asia, shared after traveling to a rural village in Nepal earlier this year, where the Hope Fund is expanding. We have started another loan. This one is a buffalo/milk operation.

Hom Bahadur Shresta is the Hope Fund loan recipient who received the loan in December of last year and is now running the buffalo milk operation. He is married and has three children. Hom is experienced with goat and cow farming, and is very excited to get into the buffalo milk business. In Nepal, buffalo milk is more highly regarded than cow milk. Though both types are available, the buffalo milk is more desirable because it is ‘tastier’. The buffalo will produce an average of five liters/day, enabling Hom to easily earn over 100 Rupees every day. This will more than double the yearly income that he earns from manual labor.

In 2008 ServLife launched the Hope Fund in Nepal, in a rural community in the eastern region of the country where Hom lives. Here the Hope Fund is projected to reach over 50 families in the area, and enable them to create their own small businesses. In a time of global economic challenge, well-structured solutions to poverty are essential. That’s why the Hope Fund exists.

Mark says that the business model seems successful so far. The buffalo/milk operation is going pretty well, however, it has had to adjust to a changing business environment, he recalls. When it started, the buffalo was producing 5 to 6 liters per day. Now, the buffalo production is down to 3 liters per day. Because of this drop, the business owner has decided to quit selling the milk. Instead, he has taken the process one step further and now makes butter to sell. They’re still doing well.

At ServLife we believe that the vicious cycle of hunger and poverty can be broken with just a small loan offered to help start a new business. The cost for an average loan from the ServLife Hope Fund ranges in amounts from $100 to $1,000 depending on the regions where ServLife works and we work with the local church to identify loan applicants to receive a loan.

ServLife’s Hope Fund works in the communities where indigenous church planters, who have been trained through ServLife’s Training Institute, live and work. Our aim is to always help assist local Nepali workers and allow a church-community connection to happen for God’s love to be shown in practical and real ways to people living in the community.

These micro-loans are like seeds, ServLife partner Mark Storm says, “First, the money enables civilians to begin and sustain a work of their own. But even more, the Hope Fund lets us work through the local Nepalese church to demonstrate God’s love and a lasting hope that can change everything.”

(From the “Fund” drop-down box, select Project Support, then enter the dollar amount and select “ServLife Hope Fund” for the project to give to. Then enter “Hope Fund Nepal” in the Comments section)

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