Loans helping ladies ‘step up’
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.’’