In the months of January and February this year, our very capable and dedicated Chair of Kisumu Children Ministries, Joan, who works to support the delivery of the work in Kisumu, was able to deliver a simple business training course to 16 people in the Tieng’re community of Kisumu. With the help of Manase, our Home Deputy Manager, and Winnie, our Matron, she firstly identified those people who would benefit from the training and would be able to act upon it. Most were care givers in the community already struggling to set up their own businesses as a way of earning an income to support their families. If she could offer them formal and effective training in small business development then she could help them to be productive and successful.
The first session started on the 20th January with subsequent lessons happening on a Saturday morning and a Monday for 4 weeks. In each session Joan taught them a carefully planned course of simple business techniques covering every area that they needed to consider and then gave them homework to do in order to put into practice what they had just learned. The outcome would be that by the end of the course, they would have developed their own thoughtfully considered and well researched Business Plans for submission to the board of trustees for consideration for a loan. It is always important that the initial capital is a loan rather than a gift as it is part of their training and understanding that money needs to be cared for to make more from it, rather than just spending it on day to day living. A loan gives them that sense that they are a caretaker of it.
Joan was very encouraged as she taught the sessions to see that the learners were gradually opening up as they understood what she was teaching them. They became more engaged and participated in the discussions, eager to share their learning with her and with the other members of the group. The more they practiced the learning at home, the more they understood and could get involved.
By the second week, the learners had planned their business model for their chosen business, analysed their customers and the market, they had assessed their competition, planned out their products and services, the resources they needed and made real financial plans to work out their pricing, made a sales forecast and understood what would come in and what would go out. This is not something they had ever been taught to do and suddenly they had a vision of their business and a real understanding of the reality of how it works. The final sessions covered marketing, managing their business and Savings.
After the business course had concluded the business plans were collated and we are still in that process as we go through each one. We are now in the process of interviewing Mentors to support each person to implement everything they have been taught in order to actually make it happen. That is crucial in this next stage. At the moment we have a slight challenge in that the Business Plans are obviously written in the Luo language and we need to be able to read them in English. This is causing a slight delay as Joan has 16 to translate whilst also working full time! She has translated 5 so far and is working hard on the remaining ones. The 5 plans we have seen so far are all retail based selling directly to the customer. They cover the sale of Cereals, Fish, General Groceries and Local Vegetables. But in the next batch, we know that there will be plans for a Second Hand Clothes business, a Salon, Chicken and Chapati & Beans, a Barber Shop & Internet provision.
If you would like to follow these Kenya community entrepreneurs and their stories as they work to get their businesses up and running, please send a quick email to email@example.com and we will ensure you get the updates!
If you would like to support one of these businesses with basic startup capital, below are the loans required so far. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know which business you would like to support and we can arrange that for you and keep you updated on progress.
|Small Fish Kiosk
|Local Vegetables Kiosk