Elizabeth Kamboy applies her handmade lotion to Carolyne Wafula’s face.
Elizabeth Kamboy, Sally Chirchir, and Janet Najala are three women entrepreneurs who make and sell soap. Their business is one of the many in their village funded by the Singal Foundation.
With a grant of $25,000 from the Foundation, Village Enterprise (non-profit working in East Africa) trained 150 new entrepreneurs, started 50 new three-person businesses, and transformed the lives of approximately 1,000 children, women, and men.
These three women entrepreneurs initially started a cake baking business, but due to low profits, they chose to redirect their efforts.
They used some of their earnings to send Elizabeth to the local Women’s Empowerment Center to attend a workshop on soap making, which is more profitable and less competitive than a bakery business.
They have earned around $1,000 and plan to invest in a machine that will help them make bar soap. “I like my business because it feeds us. It has also built our name in the community.”
The women supply soaps and detergents to local schools. They are genuinely content with the way their business has changed their lives and do not miss the days when they dug holes and harvested corn for other people.
It is hard to believe that prior to the Singal Foundation funding the Sabwwani Marinda village in East Africa, food was challenging for most of the business owners to procure. Now? They’ve saved enough money to pay for weddings, college, water pumps, solar lights, and their mindsets have changed.
There is less conflict and more peace. Women and men are independently earning their own money. Children are in school. And most are eating three meals a day. They see potential in their businesses and want to work together to expand and diversify.