Loans help­ing ladies ‘step up’

South Canterbury Herald - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - KOREN ALL­PRESS

A South Can­ter­bury or­gan­i­sa­tion that sup­ports women in achiev­ing goals by grant­ing in­ter­est-free loans is hop­ing a new web­site will help drum up fur­ther in­ter­est.

South Can­ter­bury Women’s Loan Fund (SCWLF) of­fers women a ‘‘step up’’ loan, in­ter­est free, said the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s chair­woman Win Parkes.

Dur­ing the past three years 18 women had made use of the ser­vice. ’’We’ve got more money to lend than we have bor­row­ers.’’

The or­gan­i­sa­tion re­cently set up a new web­site and was keen to draw at­ten­tion to what it could of­fer women in need of a lump sum of money, she said.

‘‘In the past our bor­row­ers have of­ten been sin­gle women, with or with­out chil­dren. But more re­cently there’s been a grow­ing trend for mar­ried women with chil­dren [ap­ply­ing].’’

It was of­ten young peo­ple which were strug­gling to find a lump sum, for in­di­vid­ual rea­sons, that would give them a leg up, she said.

Women could use the money if it would help them gain em­ploy­ment, to em­bark on a new project or start a course of study or train­ing.

In or­der to suc­cess­fully gain a loan, the women had to meet cri­te­ria such as not be­ing in debt, Parkes said.

‘‘We do loan to sin­gle women on ben­e­fits but they have to have their bud­get in bal­ance.’’ The women were ex­pected to pay the loan of about $500 back at about $10 a week.

The fund was es­tab­lished by Altrusa and Zonta in 2000, and both or­gan­i­sa­tions con­tin­ued to cover ad­min­is­tra­tion costs for SCWLF, Parkes said.

Fruit­ful Potager busi­ness owner Kelly Miles said the loan of $1000 gave her a ‘‘real con­fi­dence boost’’ ahead of open­ing her busi­ness in Septem­ber 2016.

She was in the process of ap­ply­ing for con­sent to open the home based nurs­ery when she saw an ad for the SCWLF ser­vice. ’’I ended up be­ing able to get all the shin­gle from the loan.’’

The shin­gle cov­ered the base of the roughly 400 square me­tre area of land her nurs­ery was then laid out on. With­out the loan, Miles said she would have had to bor­row money from the bank, which could have slowed her abil­ity to build her busi­ness up.

‘‘They re­ally want to help you if they can.’’

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