Saifullaeva Matlyuba was a typical Uzbekistan woman when it came to finances: her husband was the main wage earner and she was responsible for the home and family, supplementing their income with a small salary earned as a kindergarten nurse. That changed one evening when her husband was struck by a car and seriously injured.
No longer able to perform the physical labor required of his construction job, he accepted a lower paying job. Matlyuba needed to find a way to earn money.
With limited job options, Matlyuba decided to sell fruit and vegetables in Bukhara's Bazaar. She needed only 20,000 soums (US$20) to start, but ran out of money. Relatives and neighbors weren't able to help, and the local bank wasn't interested in funding a business so small. Matlyuba learned from a neighbor about Umid Credit Union, where she received a business loan.After difficulties at the start, monthly sales soon totaled one million soums (US$1,000). She later was able to purchase a small piece of land (with a second credit union loan), allowing her to grow her own produce. Today, Matlyuba also raises cattle on her farm and has money invested in a village sewing workshop that provides income to 12 women. Back