Elizabeth received a grant of 200,000 Tz Shs to buy stock to sell plastic shoes.

In June 2016 we went to visit Elizabeth who had just started selling a range of plastic shoes, either at the local market, 2 days a week, or from her home where she lives with her family: her mother, Upendo, 15, Rhode, 9, and Junior 3 years. The shoes were a new business for Elizabeth who had been struggling, unable to continue selling vegetables as her health was poor and not able to make enough profit to provide more than two meals a day for her children.

On our first visit, her mother’s banda held a variety of vegetables and fried snacks and Elizabeth’s range of shoes were spread out nearby. Elizabeth was managing to sell 5 pairs of shoes a day from home and up to 15 pairs when she went to the market. Elizabeth was happy to have a more lucrative business and her new weekly income was 50,000 Tz shillings, far above the 15,000 Tz shillings she had been making selling vegetables.

When we visited again in March 2017, Elizabeth had used some of her profits to branch out from the shoe business. She had decided earlier in the year to develop her mother’s snack business and she now cooks lunches for tractor drivers and farm workers. It means a lot more work for her and she is out every day by 7 am to shop for the day’s lunches. By 8am she is back and cooking; by mid-day the meal is ready. The menu varies – sometimes she cooks meat stew, or beans with rice or ugali. Every day Elizabeth takes orders for the next day and she is regularly providing lunches for 10 customers although passers-by are always welcome. By 3pm she is out selling shoes going to the nearby markets or selling from the banda. She has now requested a loan to expand both the shoe and the café business and seems far more optimistic about her future.

If you would like to help support more women like Elizabeth, we are currently raising funds for our next round of grants and loans. To help us achieve our target you can donate here.