In 2020 seed effect provided business and livelihood training for 148 groups.
As a result, 160 new individual businesses were started and 19 groups started new group businesses. Read Maia’s story below!
“My hope was raised because of belonging to a caring savings group in which God is a priority.”
– Maia, Seed Effect member, Uganda
Maia is a 34 year old mother of 7. She married young at the age of 20, and initially had no source of income. She shared how,
“Life was difficult for us, especially to get food and pay for the children to go to school. I used to beg for food from my family and from neighbors since we didn’t have enough to eat. This affected my reputation in the neighborhood as well as my self-esteem.”
Maia and her family lived in this strenuous state for over a decade. In 2017, Maia was encouraged by her sister to join a Seed Effect savings group. She said,
“When I joined Trinity Baptist Church Seed Effect Savings & Loan Group, my life started improving that same year. The group warmly welcomed me and I found peace within myself. With the encouragement from the Word of God and the group members, I started working hard and farming with my husband. I was able to buy a sewing machine with the money I saved.”
Being in a Seed Effect group also provided Maia an opportunity to learn business skills in 2020. The Plan for a Better Business Training helped her grow her tailoring business as she and her group members were taught to examine what makes a good business, how to plan for unexpected events, how to account for production costs, and learn how to engage with customers to determine supply and demand as well as build rapport.
Maia shared with us that this training has improved her business.
She has been able to increase her savings and start more income generating activities to be better prepared for unanticipated events such as her machine being stolen or inventory spoiling. She told us how she was able to expand her business and better manage her cash flow as a result.
“I was able to start selling food items and household essentials, in addition to my tailoring business, so I can be better prepared for unexpected events.
The tailoring business works very well during many seasons and yet I am able to stay in business and I earn money every day because of my business selling essentials like beans, rice, and onions. Our family has also practiced agriculture, thus helping us to save more money in the group.”
In regards to maintaining customers, Maia told us how she never minded talking to her customers and getting their feedback before she was trained in business skills, but now she knows to ask her customers whether or not they are satisfied with her products and prices. She went on to say that this has helped her improve the design and quality of the clothes she makes and materials she buys to create them.
As a result of the training and the growth she’s seen in her businesses, Maia shared, how she is now able to walk home with at least $6 in any given day for savings and for food for her family.
With excitement, Maia declared how much she appreciated the Plan for a Better Business Training and how she hopes to partake in additonal Seed Effect opportunities that teach business and livelihood skills.