In China, Wang Jing Wen used a microfinance loan to start a mushroom farm and help his community leave poverty behind.
City: Suqian City
Loan Use: Hiring employees to expand his mushroom farm
Originally from a rural community in the Jiangsu Province of China, young father Wang Jing Wen was forced to leave his children with their grandmother in his hometown as he traveled in search of work.
“After six years, I moved back home to be with my mother and children,” he says. He had decided to use the skills and experience he had picked up in Shenzhen to start a mushroom farm, but he didn’t have the funds he needed to really make it flourish.
“Around that time, I came across an employee from Opportunity International. He said that one of their missions was to create employment opportunities for those who are disabled or elderly. I researched this and found that a lot of the families in my village had members who were disabled, weak, or too old to find a job. Many families also left small children home alone while their parents worked,” he says.
Applying for a loan, he hoped to be able to grow the farm into a sustainable business that provided an income for poor and vulnerable families in his village. When the loan was approved, he was able to expand his farm to employ over 30 people. “The loan also included training in financial management and good housekeeping. It was a big help. With enough money, we will be able to expand to hire 100 more people,” he says.
It’s your giving that can help more people like Wang Jin Wen start businesses that provide employment for disabled and elderly people living in poor communities.
I like the fact that the gift keeps cycling through lending then repaying then lending then repaying. One day I will be able tally up the number of businesses my donations have started and also know the gift will keep on impacting people’s lives.
Article and Photo by: Gavin | Opportunity International Australia