Enterprise

Economic growth and development go hand in hand. After the first building block of education we seek to provide opportunity and train individuals with the drive to create a better future for their families. Through our 0% micro loans programme we provide, skills training and business mentorship to help others create income, jobs and raise whole communities out of poverty.

“In Malawi an estimated 52% of the population live below the poverty line on less than $0.32 per day (UK Government statistics)”

The Microloans project combines business education and mentoring from Wiseman, with interest-free micro-loans for small scale start-ups. The scheme provides entrepreneurial capacity building and business training, market research and on-going support to beneficiaries. Thus far, 20 people have been given microloans, who’ve gone on to give employment to 100 people in their communities, benefitting, on average, 720 family members (each family has, on average, 6 members). There are currently 145 people in training. The scheme is also incorporated with other LSU programs, including Little Blossoms, Grow to Grow, and the new sustainable famine relief project. Dec 2016, Grow to Grow will collaborate with the microloans project to provide Sustainable Famine Relief. This will provide vulnerable families, such as those with 4 or more children supported by widows and the elderly, with care packages, including a mosquito net, maize, beans, oil and salt, alongside a small plot of land, expertise and seeds to plant their farm now, giving food security in the future, so that they can survive the famine from Dec-Mar, following the worst drought in 10yrs. There’ll be 10 recipients this year with the aim of doubling the number each following year.

“Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and feed him for a lifetime” - Unknown

The Challenge

Lack of employment, lack of business education and opportunity, few investment opportunities, poor funding structures. Most employment opportunities exist in rural agricultural work which is hard and is not paid well. Women often have little choice in employment options and end up working in farms with their babies with them in the hot sun in difficult conditions. There are a few vocational centres offering training in professions and trades, such as nursing, carpentry, motor mechanics, welding and printing.

 

How we work

By educating the community and offering ​0%​ interest micro loans the community is elevated- providing trade and business where there was none. People are able to provide for their families and reach their full potential. This creates the opportunity for "a hand up, not a hand out". Our micro loan project enables individuals to receive small amounts of money to create their own business. We offer business training and mentorship. 

We focus on women's enterprise by creating small women's cooperative enterprises centred around exisitng health and education groups. The women are trained in business, the local market is evaluated and then women are given a loan to set up a business enterprise together. Examples are soap making, bread making or candle making. The women are supported throughout with a project leader and mentor

 

 

Looking Towards The Future

We aim to help the community around the school form a banking initative to help create a co-operative bank which can then support local business ventures and entrepreneurship. We will have a team of mentors who can guide and advise future entrepreneur's on how to succeed in their vision. The extra income created in the community will enable famillies to have the fees needed to pay for education for their children. 

Impact

  • 90% of our micro loans are paid back on time meaning the funding is sustainable. All micro loans are at zero interest
  • The businesses ensure less families reliant on subsistence farming and keeping children out of the fields and in school
  • The knock on effects are subsidiary partnerships, businesses and opportunities
  • When possible we find ways exporting products such as bunting and scrunchies attracting overseas income
  • As the economic growth of the community increases it attracts more people, investments and increases land values

 

Opportunities

  • £50 provides a microloan for a goods trader to start a business
  • £100 provides a solar phone charging setup
  • £500 offers advanced farming training to a farmer to increase yields by up to 7 times
  • £1,000 buys a hectare of farmland and tools to plant crops
  • £5,000 provides computers and adult learning tools for a vocational training centre

 

 

How you can get involved

We believe in partnerships and the power of connection. By working together and through creating opportunities which benefit individuals, organisations communities and influence global trends and policies we succeed in empowering communities in poverty.