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Imagine not having enough money to send your children to school. Imagine having a business idea but not being able to start it or grow it because of a lack of funds. Enter ISEE.
ISEE works in vulnerable communities to find women who have a business idea that is realistic and sustainable. Initially identified by community partners, the candidates go through an application and interview process, and if selected, they receive the tools to start or grow their business.
Their end of the deal? Get those children into school! (and contribute toward another candidate…)
Each sponsored Mama is followed for a year to support her success. Andrew visits her once a month at least to check that all is running smoothly. At the start of the term, he collects the receipts that show that school fees have been paid. And over the course of the year, each Mama is asked to contribute 60,000 shillings (5,000 per month = $2.00) which is then invested into a new Mama the following year. The women love this concept of paying it forward.
Projects are in three categories:
Small – under $250
Hadijah fried chips at the side of the road but her equipment was too small for the demand she had. ISEE provided a larger charcoal burner, a large frying pan, an umbrella, a table to work at, and a display cabinet to showcase her food. Other small projects include popcorn machines, sewing machines, and large saucepan rentals.
Medium – under $500
Hamidah had chickens but when her husband suddenly died, she needed to sell them all as well as all her supplies to raise money for the funeral. Her goal was to restart her chick business. ISEE provided chicks, vaccines, drinkers, feeders, heaters and food. Other medium projects include gnut (peanut) grinding machines, and “hotels” (small roadside restaurants).
Large – under $1000
Jane had a large water tank from which she sold “clean” water to her community but her demand was higher than what she could provide and her tank was springing leaks. ISEE asked her to build a platform for a 10,000 litre tank and then provided the tank (including delivery!) Other large projects include restaurants and salons.