Asuncion grew up in a community abundant with cattle before moving to Nacala ten years ago – a town where seafood and chicken are far more common. After realizing there was no butchery in the area, she decided to open her own and has become a very successful entrepreneur.

Photo: COCAMO

Photo: COCAMO

She started out by purchasing a single cow and selling the meat for a profit. Since then she has expanded her business with the support of PWS&D and Caixa das Mulheres de Nacala – an organization that supports community development through grassroots micro-enterprise. Women who would normally be denied access to credit are able to join savings unions and receive small loans to start businesses and improve their quality of life.

In 2009, Asuncion became a member of Caixa and joined a women’s savings group. With her first two loans she made what she considers to be one of her best investments – a refrigerator. The fridge allows her to purchase three cows at a time and store the meat. Previously, Asuncion says she could only buy one cow at a time and had to wait until the meat was sold to purchase another.

Photo: COCAMO

Photo: COCAMO

Today Asuncion is expanding her already profitable business. Each weekend she takes a portable barbeque to the beach where she cooks and sells BBQ meat.

Run by women, for women, Caixa has proven itself to be one of the most promising micro-finance institutions in Mozambique. Because of traditional attitudes towards women in northern Mozambique, the success of Caixa and women like Asuncion are particularly remarkable.

“I believe that any hard working woman with initiative could get a lot from Caixa’s services,” affirms Asuncion.

PWS&D is working in partnership with COCAMO (Cooperation Canada-Mozambique)’s Caixa das Mulheres de Nampula, Nacala and Pemba, to support community development through micro-enterprise initiatives in the northern provinces of the country by using a successful model of grassroots savings and credit unions for low-income women.