With Access to Credit, Liberian Manufacturer Meets Farmers’ Demand for Agricultural Machinery

Benedict Sampson, CEO of Moonlight, standing beside one of their many agro machines.

From his garage under a shade tree in the central Liberian town Gbarnga, Benedict Sampson applied for another loan, a loan he didn’t get because he couldn’t afford the bank’s repayment terms.

Sampson is chief executive officer at Moonlight Metal Works and Garage. His business specializes in agricultural equipment and tools, demand for these products is high among his farming customers.

Sampson had received a business loan before, in fact, he was the first to receive a loan backed by the Development Credit Authority (DCA), a program that puts credit in the hands of entrepreneurs around the world by guaranteeing a portion of the loan.

Sampson needed another loan to buy equipment and upgrade his services to meet customer demand, but he was getting frustrated with the complicated loan process.

Then Sampson got connected with USAID’s Investing for Business Expansion Program (IBEX), which works with both banks and borrowers to increase access to finance for small and medium businesses in Liberia.

‘We were lucky to come across IBEX,’ Sampson said. ‘They helped us put together our loan package with a comprehensive business plan and advised us [where] to take our loan package.’

The company’s DCA-backed loan application was successful, and now Moonlight is selling advanced agricultural machinery, including motorized rice and cassava mills that sell between $850 and $3,000.

Sampson is currently working with IBEX on a new loan to stock a retail store in the capital city of Monrovia, which will save people time and resources having to travel to Gbarnga for high quality agricultural equipment.

Today, Sampson has office space and 18 employees who are earning good wages. He believes with continued support, his dream of owning a steel factory one day will become a reality. ‘I want IBEX to be in Liberia for a long time,’ Sampson said.

To date, the IBEX program has facilitated loans to 33 other businesses like Moonlight, totaling $7.5 million dollars.

This story is made possible with the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the sole responsibility of IESC and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.