Small businesses matter. You can help.
Caroline is a hardworking single parent who, after years of struggling as a smallholder farmer in Kenya, took a chance and joined the Kanoto Co-Operative Society where she was introduced to French bean farming.
But there was a challenge: the local market for beans was unreliable and prices were low. In 2016, an opportunity arose when MEDA’s M-SAWA project partnered with VERT Ltd., a premium exporter of French beans to raise awareness of French bean production opportunities for farmers; they also provided education opportunities and global good agricultural practices certification training.
As a result of the training and certification, Caroline was able to sell her product to more diversified markets. Her co-op’s relationship with VERT offered a stable market for Caroline’s French beans with fair prices and timely payments.
Now Caroline earns a decent living wage, can support her family, and is creating employment opportunities for her community.
"I was only making losses, but I kept on farming, hoping for the best because farming was the only income-generating activity I could undertake.”
COVID-19 has upended the global economy, plunging 130 million into extreme poverty. Of most concern is the impact of the pandemic on women owned businesses, which tend to be smaller and grow at a slower rate but close at a much higher rate. COVID-19 continues to compound preexisting struggles, bringing to light inequalities for women in the workforce, with women taking on the majority of additional childcare and unpaid labor responsibilities.
As a result of the added pressure of pandemic living, women are at increased risk of domestic violence. These combined challenges are forecasted to set back gender equality efforts by decades.
It’s time to not only think about building back stronger but more sustainably. Your gift today will help stem the tide of the worst effects of the pandemic for hardworking people around the globe so that they can fulfill their God-given potential to earn a livelihood and, like Caroline, be empowered to lift themselves, their families, and their communities out of poverty.