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This group of women meet twice a week to weave mats together under the trees. "People laugh when you are going [to market with your mats], but not when you are returning [with money]."

Helping Businesses Succeed

Like in the US, small businesses have a special place in the African economy. It was clear from my visits to Malawi, Kenya, and Uganda that in the rural areas there’s not much employment outside of farming. So I wasn’t at all surprised when I read a study that said that 42% of rural African […]

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Josephine shows Tanya and Wambui the pot of beans cooking for the lunch meal for students at her school.

“Life has improved”: Updates from Kenya Small Business Fund

Exciting updates! Just yesterday I received a whole packet of business reports and new business plans from the latest 10 Small Business Fund grant recipients in the Korogocho area of Nairobi, Kenya. It’s thrilling to see our investment (in the form of small grants) making a positive impact in so many families! Below are 3 updates from […]

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Video: Gratitude for what we do

First, I’m grateful for our amazing volunteers. People like Carmen Hernandez who share their skills with SIA. Carmen put together this video of me telling her why I choose this work and this organization, and mixed it with photos of me during my visit to SIA partners last summer. Just watching it brings back such […]

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Rose is a member of the Manyamula COMSIP Cooperative and received a low-interest loan to open her shop. She is now eating and dressing better and she was able to buy a good bed.

Better than Begging

We call our Small Business Fund grants “seed grants.” Sure, some of them may go to purchase actual seeds for family farms. The reason for the label, though, is that we are planting investment seeds with the hope of cultivating successful, sustainable, blossoming businesses. They are not intended to be one-time gifts that are sunk, […]

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Kubadwa (left) has shared the gift with Kamanya Zuru. He gave him two plates of bean seed and showed him about how to plant  the seeds, use compost manure and double dig the beds to prep them for planing.

Dreaming of Spring

Much of the country is buried in snow this week and it has me dreaming of spring – of warm earth, budding leaves, and seeds sprouting. I also heard from a new friend in Malawi that most farmers there planted their crops last month, so things should be growing already! With those thoughts in mind, […]

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