The latest report from Mike Calvert on a recent visit to Nairobi. The facts were supplied by Mary Kiguru and taken from her annual report.
Sujali Self Help Group in less than three years has gone from an initial investment of KES66,000 (£500) to over KES500,000 (almost £4000) thanks to further contributions, interest payments and savings which represent 20% of that sum. This is a considerable achievement for the small group of women entrepreneurs, their mentor, Mary and the KeMU university students who advised them.
It is pleasing to report that the women are going from strength to strength and taking on quite ambitious projects. As I reported previously, Rosemary has gone for a career change, becoming a shop owner and training to be a hairdresser and run a salon/boutique. Alice is now constructing a more permanent structure to house more chickens. She is using social media to market the eggs and the birds. To meet the demand, she intends to open a shop and bulk eggs from the neighbourhood to supply to the market. At present she provides 63 trays of eggs per day (30 to a tray) at KES9 (about 6p each). That is about £120 per week not counting the extra 50 trays she has to get from her neighbour to meet demand! She aims to get 100 trays per day and have around 4,000 chickens.
Jacinta is expanding her hotel (read café) and awaiting the arrival of Daisy’s second calf and Risper’s crop is grown and ready for market.
The amazing cake in the photo was, of course, baked by Linet with her massive oven and the delicious meal, hosted by Susan, Mary’s mum, was prepared by Linet with some help from Jacinta’s husband Steve.
The Sujali women have a long way to go in terms of business practice (costing, insurance, customer relations) but Mary will be looking for ways of providing the training and support that will take them forward. But, for now, the future is looking optimistic for most of the women and more want to join the group.