Sunday, October 18, 2015

Visiting Three Entrepreneurs

by Joy Casey in Ethiopia
written on 10-15

Today I ad a great day today in Shashemene!  I am so happy for Emawayish!  This dear widow is doing very well.  When her husband was alive, he made cement injera bakers and Emawayish helped him.  She recently has resurrected his business and is using his molds to make the ovens.  She has a large pile of sand to the side of her house and she mixes the cement herself, pours it into the molds, takes the pieces out and sets them out to completely dry and harden… then she puts them together.  These ovens hold the heat well, heat evenly, and use very little fuel (wood).  She sells an average of 4 a week and they cost 200 birr ($10).  She is just so happy to be doing this business.  She lives in her husband’s family compound which is a very nice size, and her shop is right out her front door.  Low overhead!

I visited Tsion Tesfaye who has just started an injera-baking business.  She has a contract with one shop who will buy 30 injera a day and she is looking for other shops to sell to.  One injera sells for 3 birr wholesale.  We are going to buy Tsion one of the energy saving injera bakers that Emawayish produces.  It requires much less fuel (wood) and won’t be as smoky.  Tsion’s kitchen is right next to where she lives. 

I have never been to the market area of Shashemene, which is a culture unto itself.  It is like the Mercado in Addis only on a smaller scale.  It was crowded and colorful.  A real treat to stroll through.  We went there to see Haile’s grain shop.  He is so proud of his business, as he should be!  He has a very large place in this busy marketplace and has good inventory.  He should do very well.  He previously worked for a man selling grains so he learned the business well.  I was impressed!
Each of these three enterprising folks are part of our Adoption Ministry 1:27 IGA program (income-generating activity).  They were chosen from our sponsorship program as those who had a desire to become self-sustaining and were willing to work to pay back a micro-loan in order to start their own businesses.  They received business training and are sponsored until they have paid back their loan and no longer need any assistance.  Thanks to their monthly sponsors, they have food for their families as they work to establish themselves in business. 

We are so proud of them and so grateful for those who support them with monthly help and also finances for starting a business.  You can read more about this wonderful program here.

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