Growth through enterprise

What is micro-finance?

Micro-finance projects are small-scale businesses that are designed to generate surplus income to fund community projects.

The projects we support have lots of outgoings, ranging from utility bills and feeding programmes to staff salaries and stationery. Unlike most government schools, the non-government organisations (NGOs) we work with have the freedom to set up their own enterprises that generate money to cover their own running costs. Self-financing projects remove long-term reliance on external donors to operate. This greater control and freedom enables them to make their own choices and improve the services they provide.

Micro-finance initiatives are often the most difficult to make a success of because they are usually expensive to set up and tough to run profitably – but they are worth it when they work and can be transformative in helping the projects to become self-sufficient.

Model of success

At Chaddy Mission School in Kenya, we have refurbished their conference hall, which can now be hired by local businesses and community groups.

Thanks to its makeover, the school can charge more to customers each time it is hired. The income generated from Chaddy’s conference hire business funds its feeding programme. Every child at the school is given breakfast and a lunchtime meal, meaning the school has to fund 20,000 meals every month; this is no longer a problem.

“We are delighted that we have a new hall to hire out for events to help fund Chaddy Mission School. The income we receive from this will facilitate the school’s feeding programme and paying staff salaries.”

Geoffrey Mbugua - Project Coordinator, Chaddy Mission School