MICRO ENTERPRISE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Helping people to be able to sustain and improve their livelihood is an important part of our work in Kibera. Many people try to make a living by running small businesses and providing small business support is a way we can help people to improve their quality of life. Two of the key problems are a lack of capital to start or build the business and lack of business training. To help address these issues we have established a Micro Enterprise Development programme. Support comes in the form of a modest Micro Enterprise seed fund, administered by a local committee of volunteers providing small business loans to set up or expand local small businesses, plus business development training and support. The local committee members are well respected and successful business people in their own right and able to share their experience with the wider community. The initiative is registered with the Kenyan government as a community-based organisation (CBO) under the name of New Community 2019 Micro Finance
Encouraging self-help and support amongst local business entrepreneurs is another way the programme is making a difference at a local level. In addition to providing assistance with the development of business plans (to secure microenterprise loans), the committee runs business training courses and events and is currently exploring new ways to support the community.
Some of our enterprise loan beneficiaries
Chips and samosas
Florence established her business on Kibera Drive with an initial 5,000 KES loan and ran into difficulty when the price of potatoes rose and she stopped making a profit. She diversified into making samosas, and was supported with a further loan once the price of potatoes fell again to buy more potatoes which is a high ticket item for the size of business. A sack of potatoes will typically last 3 days. Now the business is selling both chips and samosas in equal quantities.