Similar to Income Generating Projects, Micro-Traders also aim to give people financial independence through their own efforts.
The YMA provides people with a viable small business model, gives them training and, provides them with the initial capital to start and continue the work – the ownership is with them and not the YMA.
Projects like these can differ greatly based on the needs of the locals as well as their choices and preferences. As such, the YMA are still experimenting with different ideas to see which would be the most economically viable and sustainable.
Below are current examples of Micro-Trader Projects as employed by our associate charities in different countries. They are also examples of what the YMA hope to implement in Kenya:
1. Sewing machines and material. The YMA can teach widows how to make clothes to sell. Children’s clothes or traditional clothes are especially popular and can be turned into a business for the widows to run from their own homes. The YMA would provide sewing machines and fabric and may even assist a few to become the collectives sellers of their finished wares.
2. Home-shops. Again for widows and women in low income areas. These are simple structures that can be attached to their homes from where they sell sweets, drinks and easy to prepare foods. Choosing locations for them near public through-fares would make their businesses more viable.
3. Cycle and Motorbike Taxis (rickshaws and motor-rickshaws). Motorcycles are common in developing countries as a cheap and easy way to travel. As a business model, with only fuel and occasional maintenance costs, this is a viable business for un-skilled males. Training in riding and basic upkeep will be given and cheap, second-hand bikes can be commissioned into passenger carrying rickshaws.
Once projects like these are deployed, the aim is for beneficiaries not to need any further financial assistance, be in a position to support their families and break the ‘cycle of poverty’.