In the last two years, the pandemic has strained every aspect of operations for organizations in the social sector. Nonprofit organizations (NGOs) saw drops in funding, higher costs for goods and services, and a simultaneous increase in need in their communities. As the pandemic enters a new phase, organizations all over the globe are taking stock of what the pandemic has cost and how best to move forward.

Street Business School (SBS) recently released results from a randomized control trial (RCT), the gold standard in program evaluation, showing that even during the pandemic, SBS is effective at helping women lift themselves from poverty. SBS is proud to partner with other organizations to share SBS with women worldwide. One such organization, Africa Development Promise (ADP), believes that rural women can be economically self-sufficient and flourish given the right tools. SBS’ entrepreneurial training was a wonderful fit to help ADP achieveof mission of supporting women in east Africa, women like Safina.

Before the pandemic, Safina owned a school in her community of Gayaza, outside of Kampala. She enjoyed helping children learn and grow, and the business gave her the opportunity to ensure her own four children received an education. But when schools closed for nearly two years in Uganda, Safina found herself in financial ruin. She tried to keep up with her family’s expenses by working as a tailor, but it was not enough.

When she was recruited to receive SBS entrepreneurial training through ADP, she quickly enrolled. During the module focused on identifying business opportunities, she identified a market need for dry produce. She saved what she could until she could afford a weighing scale, a key item for her business. Nine months after graduation, Safina was running not one but four businesses! Her microenterprises include tailoring services and a produce store, plus making and selling liquid soap and popcorn.

Safina found the record keeping, bookkeeping and business planning lessons incredibly helpful. She is meticulous in recording each transaction, and now saves an average of $6 US per day from her four businesses.

“I was a businesswoman before, but I never enjoyed doing business like I do today. I must have made profits, but because I never tracked them, I was always frustrated. I don’t know how I will ever repay Coach Brenda. I reached rock bottom, but she helped me get up!”

Safina’s ultimate goal is to have steady income so that she and her family are not as affected by major expenditures such as school fees. She is extremely grateful to Africa Development Promise for sharing Street Business School training.

With successes like Safina’s, ADP has continued to train more and more women. They are currently on their third cohort in just a year. Partnering with organization like ADP helps SBS get closer to our goal of reaching 1 million women.

We are so proud of women like Safina who have the courage and commitment to make changes for themselves and their families, and we are grateful to partners like Africa Development Promise who share SBS in their communities.

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