40-year-old Prem Devi lives in Akash cluster in the province of Kota, Rajasthan where she shares a house with her husband Chhotu and his parents.
Prem Devi is illiterate and missed out on an education before getting married at the age of 18. She had two children but her son sadly died of a disease when he was nine years old. Her daughter is married and has already left the family home.
Chhotu runs a business cutting Kota stone, a local fine-grained limestone. It has a blue-green hue and is often used for public buildings like train stations and government offices in India. As well as cutting the raw stone, Chhotu's business also produces tiles from the material at both of his current sites.
Prem Devi works in agriculture, tending to her family's small plot of land, and sometimes works as a daily laborer to bring in some extra income. She joined her local women's self help group (a savings and credit organization, or 'village bank') four years ago. Since then, she has been saving steadily, taking out small loans and always repaying them on time.
With investor's help, Prem Devi plans to take a loan of $310 to fence her land to protect it from wild animals which eat her crops. This will ensure that she can harvest and sell more of what she plants and get a bigger reward for the work she is already doing.
The family would also like a second loan of $1,250 to buy new stone cutting equipment to help expand Chhotu's Kota business. This loan would allow them to open up a third constuction site increasing their production and profit. With this combination of loans Prem Devi is confident that they can increase their income for good and pay back thier debts within two years.