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Vital Voices Global Partnership is pleased to congratulate Global Leadership Network (GLN) Member and Founder of Tanzania’s Sero Lease and Finance LTD (SELFINA), Dr. Victoria Kisyombe, on her new partnership with the Fetzer Institute. The institute funds projects across multiple sectors of society that promote the transformative power of love and forgiveness. SELFINA received $100,000 to support their programming which harnesses micro-leasing as a tool for women’s economic and larger social empowerment.

 SELFINA was incorporated in 2002 as an indigenous Microfinance Institution to assist women to build a solid economic base for themselves and their families and as a practical way to achieving economic and social emancipation. After gaining strong insight on the complex challenges facing women and girls in her country through, her work with governmental and non-governmental organizations, Dr. Kisyombe identified women’s lack of access to capital and financial institutions as a significant barrier to women’s empowerment and ability to move beyond cycles of poverty.  

 Since its founding, SELFINA had focused on the most vulnerable businesswomen and has become a pioneer in the world of micro-credit through micro-leasing. The organization has seen phenomenal returns to their work, having economically empowered over 25,000 women with total credit worth TSh. 25.0 billion. These efforts have created thousands of confident businesswomen and over 125,000 new jobs. Furthermore, SELFINA’s interventions have lead to attitude change in business which has maximized opportunities and strengthened small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Some of the SELFINA’s program participants have grown from a level of managing subsistence micro-businesses to mainstream small and medium businesses.

Vital Voices looks forward to following future successes under Dr. Kisyombe’s leadership as SELFINA begins this exciting new phase of its development.