Magesa Munna is a four-time borrower from SELFINA’s Kibaha branch. She initially used her loans to purchase chicks, which she used for a poultry business. However, Magesa noticed that many retired officers were taking up poultry keeping and consequently chose to enter a less competitive industry: wine making. SELFINA helped to provide her with raw materials such as grapes and bananas, processing machines, as well as exhibitions to market her product. Her company, Jambo Wine, has grown from a micro-enterprise to a small industry and has been featured at international trade fairs in Nairobi.
Additionally, Magesa is now considered bankable by formal banks and recently took out a loan from CRDB to purchase modern processing and packaging machines. She is hoping that this increased productivity will allow her to hire more workers. She also cited the importance of packaging, pricing, and branding, especially in the increasingly open and competitive East African market. Consequently, Magesa employs exhibitions, brochures, mouth-to-mouth, and personal visits to promote the Jambo Wine brand. As a result of her hard work, her wine is sold in supermarkets and hotels in Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Moshi, and Morogoro.
Due to her increased revenue, she has been able to improve her home. Since the loss of her husband, she has also been able to pay for school fees for her six children, the youngest of which just graduated from the University of Dar es Salaam and was hired as an investment officer at Bank of Africa. Furthermore, Magesa organized a group of 40 women entrepreneurs who meet monthly to exchange best business practices. When asked how microfinance served entrepreneurs, Magesa responded, “Money is everything. It can help you do better and better. But if no money, your business cannot grow. It will be the same today and tomorrow. If you’re lucky, you won’t go bankrupt.”