Friday, November 5, 2010

MicroFinance: $10.00 To The Road To Prosperity

Years ago, in a newspaper article, was the story about a man living in a small village in Western Africa.

This man was a shoemaker.

He made sandals by hand.

Though he did the best he could,

He was barely able to make one or two pair a day.

They sold for a dollar.

If he had a sewing machine, he could make more than one or two pair a day.

But to pay for the machine was too much to pay.

This man could save the money for a machine. The price was 10 dollars.

Still, a princely sum for a man who made a dollar a day.

Since he could support his family on half his pay, in twenty days he could buy the machine.

You can figure out what that would mean.

Still, his village was small. His neighbors were poor. They had no food.

Since the man could not let his neighbours die, he helped support them with the

money he had left after supporting his family. Still, it could not have been

enough to help all the villagers. Some died.

All he neededd was ten dollars.

With ten dollars, he could buy the machine.

He could make two pair, or three pair, or four pair, or more.

He could pay a villager to sell his extra sandals.

Soon, he could afford to buy a second machine.

He could train an apprentice to run the machine.

You can figure out what that would mean.

Ten pair of sandals, possibly more.

Another machine, and a salesman or two.

Think about all that that man could do.

He could buy a donkey to be ridden to town,

And sell the sandals for what the market allowed.

Then the man could invest, in a neighbor or two.

And they could make money to do what they do.

Reeds for baskets and clay for pots,

And a cart for the donkey, to sell things by lots.

The village could prosper, money for food,

money for schools, and clothes, and tools.

Then the man awoke, to another hot day.

He worked on his sandals, to earn a day's pay.

With the money he made, he stayed barely alive.

And helped a few neighbors to barely survive.

The resources for SME's are a potent force. Or would be if they were available. Think of it as a leveraged investment. Sounds much better said that way, doesn't it?

Sincerest regards,



Copyright (c) 2010 Slim Fairview