From Interior Design to Microfinance in South Sudan
Thursday, October 8, 2015
On a warm afternoon in this dirt-road town, 34-year-old Missy Williams sits on a plastic chair beneath a thatched roof in the center of a bustling market.
She is strikingly pale compared to Annet Modong, the South Sudanese woman seated across from her. Modong does not know who Williams is. All she knows is that a group of Americans have come to interview her.
Williams is here on what could be considered a mission trip. But she is no ordinary missionary; she’s one with a finance degree who has an interest in helping people with their economic, as well as spiritual, needs.
Williams is the co-founder of Seed Effect, a Christian microfinance nonprofit based in Dallas, which provides Modong and other South Sudanese entrepreneurs like her with small loans to invest in their businesses.
Since its founding in 2009, Seed Effect has given around 4,000 low-interest loans of about $150 each. The group’s staff of South Sudanese has multiplied exponentially, and they have opened branches in two additional towns.
Seed Effect is one of the largest of several microfinance organizations in South Sudan, says Mike Congrove, the executive director of Empower One, a Christian ministry that works in South Sudan and helped launch Seed Effect.