The Townships Project A Canadian non-profit jumpstarting business in South
African townships through microlending, microfranchising
and asset based community development.
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Elsie Mpanza, manufacturer near Groblersdal, Mpumalanga province showing her merchandise.

Elsie Mpanza is a 49 year old woman supporting 3 children living near Groblersdal, Mpumalanga, South Africa.  The past few years have been difficult for Elsie as her husband passed away in 2008 after a long illness.  Elsie has therefore assumed the position of primary bread-winner for her family – a task that she is now much better able to handle than she would have been a few years ago.

Elsie became a borrower in 2006.  She makes bedding, curtains and traditional clothes but before joining the organisation, she used to struggle to meet the demands of clients in the village.  Elsie says that her goods were always in demand, but the problem was getting enough material.

Elsie is now on her 4th loan with Tsoga Micro Finance.  She purchased an industrial machine with the money and is happy that her production is faster than before due to the new machine.  Elsie’s success has also helped create other jobs: she now employs 5 women in her business on a full time basis.  These women are from a wide range of ages and live in the same village as Elsie.  Elsie has also recently bought a stove and double bed for her family but tries to help as many people as she can, saying, "One has to share God’s blessing with others who are less advantaged and cannot access opportunities. Tsoga picked me up during my struggling days, now I am helping others."

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