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Supporting the parents through Micro-entrepreneurship

Our idea is a social enterprise that tackles the problem of slum children being able to access early childhood education and other life basics by economically empowering their parents/guardians through a micro-entrepreneurship program.

Photo of Abel Wafula
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It works for us. Have the parents form themselves into groups. The groups may be registered or not if they operate under an umbrella group or a network. The members of the group are subdivided into sub-groups of 10 members each with a team leader. the larger group will choose its leadership from amongst them following the structure of a CBO or selfhelp groups.They will meet once every week to do savings, pay loan and receive civic education on various topics ranging from parenting, healthcare, business management among others from invited experts.
Members have 3 products when it comes to saving.
  1. GSL Savings - This is a long term product where a member saves a minimum of ksh100 per week and after 3 months he/she is eligible for a first loan of kshs 20,000 if they have a minimum savings of kshs5,000. This is repaid back in 6 months at an all time low interest rate of 10%p.a. Subsequent loans will depend on one's savings. One will require to have 40% savings of the loan he/she is seeking. This is a measure put in place to curb defaut rates
  2. Top up - This is the traditional table banking where members contribute on the day and one can borrow from these contribution and return at the end of the month with a 10% interest. At the end of the year members get back all their savings plus dividents earned from the borrowings
  3. Emergency kitty - Members contribute kshs 200/month and can borrow from this kitty money to pay for school fees as well as their nuclear family medicals and pay back without interest. When a member withdraws from the group, he/she also receives his contributions into this kitty

Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?

Our members are from the slums of Kibera, in Nairobi city in Kenya. They live in extreme poverty but we have been able to impact some of them albeit a very small number, with this program.

How could you test this idea in a quick and low-cost way right now?

We have already tested the idea and we have been able to eliminate almost all the threats. We are already working with six groups each with a minimum of 20 parents

What kind of help would you need to make your idea real?

We need to invest more capital in this idea to increase the number of parents benefiting from it. The interest we charge helps us sustain the program in the sense that there are some running cost to be incurred and we cannot rely on donors all through on this. If we can achieve a membership of 10,000 parents, then we are good to go. But for this, you have to have sufficient funds to cater for their training, loans, and to some extend cushion defaulted loans.

Is this an idea that you or your organization would like to take forward?

  • Yes. I am ready and interested in testing this idea and making it real in my community.


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