In a world where women continue to break barriers and challenge traditional norms, a group of extraordinary women in Lokichoggio, Turkana West Sub County, have harnessed their shared desire for independence, self-sustainability, and economic empowerment to achieve remarkable success with Ksh 500,000 grant from KDRDIP that has since produced real value chain for the women and the entire population in the region.
When the adage “Teach a man how to fish and he will be forever independent, give him a fish and he will be forever dependent.” was being constricted, the wise men must have had members of the Elibit and Natumamomg women groups in their minds.
Fueled by their determination and supported by a grant of Ksh 500,000 from KDRDIP (a development partner aiming to empower communities hosting refugees), the two groups have defied the odds to create thriving businesses.
While previous recipients of the grant had unfortunately squandered the funds, the Elibit and Natumamomg groups took a different approach.
They established a savings and loan mechanism, allowing individual members to borrow the money for start-ups or to expand their existing businesses with a commitment to repay it with interest.
One member, Esther, saw the potential in her bakery business and seized the opportunity to transform her dreams into reality. With the grant money, Esther wasted no time investing in state-of-the-art bakery equipment and hiring additional staff.
She also allocated funds towards marketing her products and expanding her customer base, ensuring that her bakery catered to previously untapped areas with high demand. Today, just one year later, Esther’s Nawakodou bakery products have become a household name throughout Lokichoggio.
The quality and excellence of her baking have made her a prominent figure in the region, and her business has experienced remarkable growth.
With an increased workforce and a robust value chain, her success has not only empowered her own business but has also had a positive ripple effect on the local community, benefiting boda boda operators, shopkeepers, and small-scale traders.
Inspired by Esther’s triumph, several members of the Elibit and Natumamomg groups have followed suit, achieving their own remarkable successes in various business ventures. All the members have repaid their loans and have even multiplied the initial grant threefold.
Looking ahead, Esther plans to leverage her market influence to open satellite branches in neighboring towns, employing a flexible model that includes franchise marketing and the utilization of secondary sales agents.
As she confidently walks through the dusty rural areas of Lokichoggio, Esther defies deep-seated traditional norms, becoming a symbol of resilience and power.
The success of the women’s groups challenges the notion that entrepreneurship is solely a man’s domain and proves that women, when given the opportunity, can excel and surpass expectations.
The journey of Esther and the members of the Elibit and Natumamomg groups showcases the transformative power of grants and the remarkable potential within women-led businesses.
Their achievements not only inspire aspiring entrepreneurs but also challenge societal norms, paving the way for a more inclusive and empowering future.
Through their unwavering determination and resilience, they have proven that women can become exceptional entrepreneurs, contributing to their communities and defying limitations.