|dc.description.abstract||This study focuses on examining sources of microfinance loans, the opportunities and challenges which these loans pose to teachers in Zambia as they try to attain sustainable development. Two theories inform this study: The Theory of Microfinance (Muhammad Yunus-1974) and The Theory of the Balance of Commodities and Discommodities of Usury by Bacon -1625 as they are heavily linked to micro financing in developing countries. In this study mixed method imbedded design is used where the quantitative design took prominence supplemented by the qualitative design. A sample of 407 which comprised 405 teachers and 2 financial service providers in 22 schools both in Solwezi and Kasempa were sampled. Critical purposive sampling was used to select 5 teachers who were highly indebted from microfinance loans and simple random sampling was used for the rest of the participants. Data from interviews was analysed through coding, labelling and according to emerging themes, while Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to run statistical tests of both descriptive and inferential nature on questionnaire results and presented in statistical output tables, pie-charts and graphs. Excel was also used to generate charts and graphs. The study established that the main sources of microfinance for teachers were formal microfinance and these included: Bayport, Izwe, Madison Finance among others and banks with a small portion getting from Kaloba or individual money lenders (shylocks) as well. Education, business, land or home ownership, motor vehicle purchase, and solving social problems among others were the major opportunites for teachers borrowing from microfinance loans. There was further indication that lending rates were very high and quit unsustanaible. The sudy further established indebtedness, high lending rates,double deductions, delayed refunds among others as major challenges teachers had from microfinance institutions. The study, therefore, concluded that the high lending rates made microfinance seem to have made a negligible positive contribution to sustainable development and consequently proved not to be a sustainable source of finance for teachers. The study, therefore, recommended that lending rates should be lowered, and government should also recapitalise Public Service Microfinance Company so that it can adquately provide low interest and sustainable loans to government employees.
Key Words: Micro finance Loans, Sustainable Development, Teachers, Challenges, Opportunities.||en