Pellital has got an intern who will be working with the micro-entrepreneurs this summer and posting here some fresh updates about their small businesses. Here is her comment:
“My name is Taylor Hausburg, and I am currently a junior at Duke University majoring in Linguistics. I am in a class this semester that deals with border-crossing (or leadership) issues and community-based research. As part of that course, we are eligible for a grant from the university to fund a project of our own for this upcoming summer. I was alerted to the Pellital organization by Omar Diaw (whom I met through my Arabic professor Mbaye Lo), and was immediately drawn to your project. I am personally interested in women's rights, and, though I have never worked with microfinance companies in the past, would absolutely love the opportunity to learn more about the process. I also speak French fluently (though not perfectly, and I do not know any Fulani).
The purpose of the grant is not only for us to organize a meaningful and interesting summer project, but also for us students to give something back to the organization with which we work. The projects last 8-12 weeks, beginning in mid- to late May and ending in mid-August. We are provided $4,000 for the summer, and so I would NOT be asking for any payment from your organization. I would be willing to conduct any research for you that might be beneficial to Pellital.
To give you an example, students who have volunteered with microcredit organizations in the past have interviewed loan recipients in order to write a paper that would help promote the organization and its fundraising efforts.
I am particularly interested in the women's empowerment aspect and potential of microfinance. So, I have two major ideas for the project options at the moment, or even a combination of the two:
a. Compiling several case studies of women who have successfully utilized their loans and descriptions of their businesses, since studies have shown that the most powerful way to motivate people is to have them read success stories of people with similar backgrounds as their own.
b. Exploring if and how women who have successfully utilized their loans mentor other women in their community, especially those interested in applying for loans. If this sort of system does not exist, then I would like to explore the possibility of establishing a mentoring network.
I would be honored to work with such an inspiring and motivated community.”