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Resilience in a Male Dominated Field

Mary has gone from a devastating incidence of robbery at her m-pesa ( Mobile Money banking business) to a new thriving business. In 2008 Mary had a m-pesa and a beauty shop that were thriving until one evening when her business was robbed. After the devastation she worked different jobs for a few years until 2014 when she decided to start a new business. Mary decided that she wanted to open a shop selling bike parts, auto parts, and beauty supplies. Even though the auto and bike industry is extremely male dominated Mary began to explore where she could buy goods to supply her shop and began planning where to open it.  So with the help of a loan from Opening Village Doors Foundation and some money she had saved, she started over and opened her shop.

As we visit her today, Mary’s shop is doing well, she has a good amount of clients and the word of mouth marketing about her shop is spreading. Thanks for donors who support Opening Village Doors Foundation, her business is doing good, she has a good income to support her family and she can make her loan repayments on time, and Mary has plans on how she would like to grow her shop by adding food items, and some expensive spare parts that she is not currently able to stock.

Near the end of our visit Mary thanked Opening Village Doors Foundation for supporting her. She described how banks will not give loans to small businesses like herself because they are only interested in large businesses in order to have large profit. She appreciates the  follow up visits done by Opening Village Doors staff means to her as they motivate her and helps keep her accountable.

The work of Opening Village Doors would not be possible without the generosity of those who support our mission. Thank you to all those who have shown support in the past and still do, if you would like to donate to help Mary and those in similar situations start their businesses and be able to support themselves you can click on the link bellow. No gift is ever small.

New technologies, new opportunities…

Every entrepreneur wants to be associated with a successful businesses; Mpesa is just one of them. Since its Launch in 2007 by Safaricom and Vodacom, MPESA has been considered a global success. Researchers show that more than two Thirds of adults in Kenya use MPESA for their transactions, this research further states that MPESA  does about 8 million transactions daily. Mpesa can be used for Shopping, Utility bills, Taxi ride, Deposits and many other uses. Currently Mpesa has about 85,000 agents countrywide and Janet Gesare is one of them.

Janet completed her education, where she studied early childhood development. For a few years she followed her career path and was teaching in one of the private primary schools within Ngong where she earned 6000Kshs ($60) monthly.  This, she says was never enough to sustain her and the family as the standard of living is very high. Janet bought the MPESA business from her uncle. Though she did not have enough starting capital as her uncle withdrew all his money from that business line. She struggled since she had not enough float ( money required to maintain at hand to pay customers) but had made so many clients.

Early last year, Janet was introduced to Opening Village Doors Foundation by one of our very loyal client, Jacklyn; she then visited our office to find out more about our business model. She applied for a loan of 50,000Kshs in order to boost her business. She also received training on managing her business and successful ways to engage customers. When we visited Janet in February 2017 she could not hide her happiness.  She invested the funds in expanding her MPESA business and added drinking water which she sells at 100% profit and being that her shop is centrally located in a petrol station and also near a garage, she sells up to four boxes of water dally.

Currently her MPESA is also doing very well. In fact she wants to clear the loan as soon as possible and apply for more to expand her business even further.

Determined to succeed

Peter Onyango Aguro, aged 31, a farther of three children, one boy and two girls aged 8,5 and 1 respectively, is a well known tailor in Ng’ong town. He has done tailoring for almost a decade now. He says his greatest inspiration was his Uncle, who taught him all the basics of tailoring. Peter says he exists because of his business, it is from his his sweat that he is able to he pays rent, school fees(tuition) and still puts food on the table for his family.

This chain of responsibilities has become his greatest motivation. He knows he needs to work really hard to meet all these needs. For a number of years in his career, he was employed, but later on his employer went bankrupt and closed down his tailoring shop. With his savings he decided he would put up his own tailoring shop within Ngong town where he had a number of clients. Being that his saving wasn’t enough to get him enough machines and materials to satisfy the needs of his clients; Peter felt that he needed to get a loan to boost his business. He got  in Opening Village Doors Foundation when a friend told him about our work. I approached the organization for Ksh. 50,000 ( $500)

Peter used the funds to add two sewing machines one for Ksh. 25,000 ( $250, and another for Ksh. 15,000 ($150. One of the machines he bought was electric, which increased his productivity thus meeting customer deadlines without any problems without loosing opportunities for new orders.The rest of the money he used to add more sewing material.  When asked how things are progressing for him, he stated, the loan and mentorship that he has received from Opening Village Doors Foundation has given him so much confidence with his work and given him stability and an assurance that for sure he can sustain his business for many years to come.

Peter is very grateful to Opening Village Doors Foundation and plans to work very hard to pay back his loan so that others can also have an opportunity. He plans to employ one or two people  to expand his business. One of his dreams is to help others learn the skill of of tailoring, with time he plans to start identifying young men and women interested in the work and teach them just like his uncle had done.

Thank you for making Potential. Possible!

Africa’s Pulse

Twice a year, the World Bank issues a report entitled: Africa’s Pulse: An analysis of issues shaping Africa’s economic future. Just this month of October 2013 the bank released the report and here are a few highlights;

  • Global economic activity remains subdued, and despite signs of strengthening in high-income countries, significant downside risks persist. Economic activity remains strong in much of Sub-Saharan Africa, underpinned by robust domestic demand.
  • The economic outlook for the region is positive, although the region is vulnerable to both a sharp decline in commodity prices and the fragility of the global economy.
  • More than a decade of growth has helped to lower poverty, but the twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity call for a sharp ramping up effort.
  • A low growth elasticity of poverty means that growth alone will not suffice to rapidly reduce poverty in the region. Accelerating Africa’s poverty reduction will also require more inclusive growth processes and tackling inequality.
  • Despite the continent’s growth turnaround and progress in the fight against poverty during the last decade, poverty in Africa remains unacceptably high, and the pace of reduction unacceptably slow.
  • Almost one out of every two Africans lives in extreme poverty today. Optimistically, that rate will fall to between 16 percent and 30 percent by 2030. Under any plausible scenario, most of the world’s poor people by that date will live in Africa. Sustained growth is necessary—but not sufficient—to meet the challenge of accelerating poverty reduction in Africa.

Visit out website and find out more how we are fighting poverty in Kenya through helping individuals start small business so that they can generate income to support themselves and their family and create employment.

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