In 2020, Seed Effect trained 148 groups in the Chalmers Center’s Plan for a Better Business curriculum.
Read below to hear how this training brought hope to the Bidibidi Refugee Settlement.
“Business skills training increased our group sales.”
– Morjita Seed Effect Group, Bidibidi Refugee Settlement, Uganda
Morjita Seed Effect Savings and Loan Group
The Morjita Seed Effect Group is in their 4th savings cycle.
This group benefited from the soap making training pilot in 2018, but had continued to struggle with their group business until they received an opportunity to be trained in the Plan for a Better Business training offered by Seed Effect.
Mr. Guya Cosmas, the group’s chairperson shared,
“Before we had received any business skills training, we were struggling to sell the liquid soap we were making. We earned meager profits since we could only sell one jerry can of liquid soap. Yet we knew that there was still a market for this in the settlement and neighboring host community. But the situation worsened when UNHCR started distributing bar soap for refugees because it totally reduced the demand for the soap.”
Morjita Seed Effect Group received the Plan for Better Business training in 2020. One of the members shared,
“This training raised the hope of the group members to rejuvenate the business through application of the skills learned from the training.”
Through the Plan for a Better Business training the importance of talking to customers to test potential business ideas and growth opportunities was emphasized. Group members also learned how to plan for production costs and how to prepare for unexpected events. Together they examined what makes a good business and discussed the importance of building good customer relationships.
Group chairperson Cosmas continued,
“Through talking to potential customers to test our business ideas, we realized there were many customers that didn’t know about our business in the refugee settlement. We came across Water Mission, a WASH partner in the settlement that need to buy liquid soap.”
Mr. Cosmas continued to share how the group’s business experienced a dramatic increase in sales once they got connected to Water mission — selling one jerry can per month to 45 jerry cans per month. That exponential increase translated to group earnings of 5,400,000 Ugandan Shillings ($1,500) in the first month and even greater profit in the months to follow.
Through the Plan for a Better Business training, the Morjita Savings and Loan group learned how to manage their money and account for fluctuation in the market. Their group sales person said,
“The lesson on preparing for unexpected events also helped us to plan our production. We have even become aware of supply and demand – knowing the best time to produce Liquid soap. For example, when UNHCR doesn’t distribute soap, we increase production and we make more sales.”
The group bought a brand new motorcycle with some of the money they earned.
The driver shared,
“This motorcycle helps in delivering products and materials, but also it helps in transportation services in the settlement that earns additional money for the group.”
Morjita Savings and Loan Group members with the motorcycle they were able to purchase from their profits.
Mr. Guya Cosmas and his team explained how their group has seen the effects of this teaching and are eager for the training to be shared with the rest of their community to help members deal with the vulnerability in the refugee settlement.
The Morjita group expressed gratitude to Seed Effect for opening their eyes to the benefits of business training.
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