Project #257 | Maarifa Entrepreneurship Training & Access to Microloans
Our Partnership with Mavuno
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of the most fragile states in the world, having endured decades of armed conflict and instability. The World Food Program’s 2020 forecast predicted that of the 100 million people in DR Congo, 15.6 million are severely food insecure and 5 million people are internally displaced. High levels of poverty and limited opportunities for employment contribute to fueling conflicts in the eastern DRC.
One Day’s Wages partnered with Mavuno to launch Maarifa: a training hub for entrepreneurs in North Kivu Province. The goal of Maarifa (knowledge, in Swahili) is to expand the production of locally-produced goods and strengthen the local economy that has become increasingly dependent on imports. Through our partnership, 150 entrepreneurs were able to expand and diversify their small businesses through training in financial literacy, business skills and agripreneurship. Of these, 20 were accepted into an accelerator program that offered them microloans. A highlight of the year was a local business expo where 57 entrepreneurs proudly promoted everything from locally-produced coffee and cocoa, to soap and sandals. By participating in the Maarifa program, entrepreneurs increased their income by 20-50%!
Our Collective Impact
ENTREPRENEURS PARTICIPATED IN A BUSINESS EXPO
ENTREPRENEURS WITH INCREASED CAPACITY
PEOPLE WERE EMPLOYED BY NEW MICROBUSINESSES
Charcoal stoves are more than a business idea for Charite. The stoves are fuel-efficient and require less wood, thereby reducing the devastating impacts of smoke inhalation and deforestation. While Charite started producing his charcoal stoves 5 years ago, it wasn’t until he was accepted into Maarifa’s accelerator program that his business began to thrive. He qualified for a small business loan of $500, and grew in his knowledge of how to properly manage his business and accounting records. At the business expo hosted by Maarifa on March 5, 2023, Charite sold out of stoves halfway through the event and had to run back to his shop to restock! Just a week after the expo, Charite was able to hire two staff to join his team and fulfill his orders from the expo. Charite looks forward to a brighter future for his business, his team, and his family.
Thank you for making this possible!
Our movement is grassroots, to us that not only means the work on the ground is led by local leaders with the support of the community, but it also means that we raise the funds for our projects through everyday donors just like you. In addition to all the donors that gave $25, $100, or $250 and the campaigners that ran a race or donated their birthday to raise funds, we also want to thank our generous business, school, and faith sponsors who believed in our work and joined the movement.
If you want to support future projects like this you can make a donation to the fund below.