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Investing in older business people

Helping people to become self-sufficient by investing money and training in their businesses. 

Pictured: 65-year-old Sarah started this street stall in Sierra Leone after we gave her starting capital and training. The average weekly wage in Sierra Leone is £12 but now Sarah is earning £15 a week. She uses the money to buy food, medicine, and to send her grandchildren to school. 

Why are older people refused loans?

In the countries where we work, older people are regularly refused loans or credit simply because they are older. This is ageism. 

Older women - who face the combined discriminations of ageism and sexism - may also be denied credit because they are women. 

When an older person is denied credit, they may turn to expensive or unreliable borrowers instead.  

Why people need loans

An older person in a poorer country might use a loan to:

  • Buy more crops after bad weather, to tide them over to the next harvest 
  • Start a small street stall or shop, which is easier work for someone who is older 
  • Get extra supplies so they can expand their business, to earn extra money and send their grandchildren to school  

How our investment scheme works

All of our investments are ploughed straight back to the local community - Age International does not profit at all. This is how it works:

  1. We set up 'older people's clubs' in local communities. These groups elect a leader and treasurer.
  2. Groups give out low-interest loans to older members of the local community. We supplement the loans with extra training and support.
  3. The money is paid back (at very low interest) directly to the club. The club re-invests the money into more businesses and local projects.

How people have used their investments

80-year-old entrepreneur starts business after Ebola

This incredible grandmother not only survived the Ebola crisis - she also became an entrepreneur at 80 years old .

Housewife opens her first shop

Hazoor (pictured) is a housewife-turned-businesswoman who lives in Pakistan. After joining a club for older people at the age of 51, she decided to apply for funds to start a small shop selling sweets and snacks.

Even though she had never done anything like it before, her shop has been a complete success. Before, she was in constant pain - because she could not afford to treat her Hepatitis. Now, she can buy medicine, pay for the bus to get to the hospital, and she even has plans to expand her shop.

The grandpa who breeds goats

80-year-old Ga Nge (pictured) used his loan to start goat-breeding. The farmer from Myanmar says: 'There is no other person in the village who gives out loans to older people, so I wouldn’t be able to get a loan from anywhere else.'

'I hope that one day my grandchildren will go to school or even university.'

Invest with Age International

For less than 20p a day, you could help to fund a small business loan for someone like Hazoor or Ga Nge.

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Last updated: Sep 21 2023

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