Examples from Ethiopia


Foto von Lubuaba in ihrem Gemischtwarenladen.
Room renting and small shop

Lubua­ba lost her hus­band sev­en years ago. Before his death, the income of their small gro­cery was main­ly used for med­i­cine. The wid­ow was left with­out any means to cov­er the dai­ly need of the family.

Two years ago Lubua­ba applied to the Pro­gramme Com­mit­tee for a first cred­it of 1000 Birr ($ 110). The cred­it was approved and she got the basic busi­ness train­ing and indi­vid­ual advice.
The loan helped her to build three small rooms at the back­yard of her hut. She rent­ed them for 150 Birr month­ly. This encour­aged her to real­ize a sec­ond busi­ness idea, and after a full repay­ment of the first loan she lend­ed 2000 Birr and restart­ed the small shop. Soon the gro­cery was run­ning well, and the prof­it was suf­fi­cient to repay the cred­it and to sat­is­fy the basic fam­i­ly demand. Then the first son com­plet­ed the 10th grade of school and was with­out a job. Lubua­ba acquired a third loan, which enabled the son to open a clothes shop of his own. She says: “Life has com­plete­ly changed for me, for my son and for my oth­er chil­dren due to the Swis­s­hand fund. Now I am a suc­cess­ful busi­ness lady in my vil­lage and can even help my son to work self-employed”.

Social impact: She has a reg­u­lar income from rent­ing the rooms. She runs a small shop with prof­it, and she has enabled one of her sons to be a young entre­pre­neur. She has become a self­con­scious woman. All her chil­dren have got access to school and live in a much bet­ter sit­u­a­tion. Lubua­ba is inde­pen­dent now and looks ahead with confidence.


Foto von Bizunesh mit ihren Ziegen.

Bizunesh is liv­ing with her sec­ond hus­band in the rur­al part of Seqa. Eight months ago she got the busi­ness train­ing and a loan of 1’000 Birr to buy one cow for dairy activ­i­ties and three goats for rear­ing, as well as two chick­ens. She is lucky, her goats already have bred. Bizunesh is sell­ing milk and eggs, and the young goats are ready for sale. Her hus­band and the chil­dren help in the agri­cul­tur­al activ­i­ties. The fam­i­ly has a reg­u­lar income now. She can even sup­port the edu­ca­tion of her chil­dren who are liv­ing with her first husband.

As chair­woman of the vil­lage’s women group she is not only an entre­pre­neur, but also a social activist. She has ini­ti­at­ed var­i­ous train­ing and infor­ma­tion ses­sions. Hence she is help­ing her group mem­bers and neigh­bours by shar­ing infor­ma­tion on HIV/AIDS, agri­cul­tur­al inputs, fam­i­ly plan­ning, etc. Bizunesh says: I am very hap­py to share my knowl­edge with oth­ers. I do not have any more sor­row, my sor­rows have gone. Thanks to the Swis­s­hand fund I am liv­ing with hope. Now I am plan­ning to change my old roof with new iron sheet. I have pre­pared some con­struc­tion mate­r­i­al for this pur­pose. I have a big vision for my children.

Social impact: She has improved the liv­ing con­di­tions of her fam­i­ly. She involves her unem­ployed hus­band, and the chil­dren help in the dai­ly farm­ing work. The fam­i­ly is inde­pen­dent. As a leader she has very pos­i­tive influ­ence in the women group.


Foto von Keriya bei der Herstellung von Tonplatten.

Keriya has been in pot­tery work since her child­hood. She learned the skill from her par­ents. Her hus­band is an ex sol­dier, and his small pen­sion can­not sus­tain the fam­i­ly. For years their house was in a very bad con­di­tion and school atten­dance was not pos­si­ble for the children.
Keriya pro­duces plates for enjera (Ethiopi­an f1at bread) mak­ing. With the first loan of 1’000 Birr she could expand the pot­tery work and pro­duce 30 plates per week, sell­ing them for 8 to 10 Birr each. From the prof­it she has enlarged their small hut to a two rooms house with an iron sheet roof. Now the fam­i­ly is under prop­er shel­ter, and there is a dry space to shelve her frag­ile prod­ucts. She is plan­ning to send her daugh­ters to school. Keriya says: I have many thanks to the Swis­s­hand pro­gramme. Cur­rent­ly I have ful­ly repaid the cred­it and I would like to apply for a sec­ond one in order to buy a milk cow for my family.

Social impact: She has reached much bet­ter work­ing con­di­tions in the big­ger and dry house and thus can pro­duce enough to feed her fam­i­ly prop­er­ly. Even access to school will be pos­si­ble for her daugh­ters. Her enthu­si­asm to change life might encour­age oth­er peo­ple with arti­san skill.