For the past four months The Maa Trust has been training 26 community members in Aitong village, Maasai Mara on The Street Business School (SBS) entrepreneurship Programme. 43 community members registered for the training in January but only 26 have continued with the training. The training aims to eradicate poverty by igniting entrepreneurial potential.
The normal first response when trying to solve poverty-related problems in the community always would be “I don’t have funds to support me, so I can’t address these problems.” By igniting entrepreneurism within communities, each individual is encouraged to get out of their comfort zones and change their lives for the better. This is achieved through training the community members on an intensive six months course on how to build confidence and teaching business skills that will in turn lead to self-sustaining businesses in our communities.
The trainees are being coached by our Gender Project Officer, Isen Kipetu, who is a Lead Business Coach certified by Street Business School (SBS). She is skilled in coaching small-scale entrepreneurs on how to fight poverty through business.
The training has eight modules, module one to six is taught inside a training center (Aitong Discovery Center). After module six, the trainees take a one-month break for a business implementation period. During the business implementation period, Isen visits the trainees’ businesses for individual coaching as per the topics covered. The SBS members go back to class to finish modules seven and eight, then graduate.
Last week, Isen made coaching visits to some of the SBS members for mid-coaching sessions. The sessions involved questions on how the programme has supported them and the challenges they are facing in their day-to-day business needs.
Below are some of the members’ feedbacks
“Before joining SBS training, I thought that the more I lend to customers, the more customers I will get. But during the training, I learnt that lending can sometimes lead to business closure. I went back to my business and made a decision not to lend anymore, so many people already owed me a lot of money that I almost closed my business, but after this decision, my shop has grown so much and I have so many customers. To imagine I almost closed my shop and where I am today, all I can say is, SBS should reach more women so that they can learn what I have learnt and pull themselves from stagnant businesses that do not grow hence fight poverty. Thank you The Maa Trust.” Judith Nasieku.
"If there is one great thing that I have learnt from SBS training is that, it is okay to start small and grow with your business. We are so glad that The Maa Trust has trained us in these skills, but we would like for them to support us as Aitong SBS members start a Sacco. All we need is facilitation and guidance. The Maa Trust can also support us by constructing business stalls for SBS members so that we stop relying only on market day (once a week) to earn an income.” James Tangei Ole Sopia.
“Most people ignore business trainings including me, people who already have existing businesses assume there is nothing new to be learnt. I have been in business for three years now, selling the same 45 Kilograms of potatoes every market day. But since I joined the SBS training for the past four months I have grown beyond my imagination. I now sell 135Kgs of potatoes, Maasai shukas, and tea every market day. I have learnt starting small, does not mean staying small forever.” Naishorua Kasale.