Just Small Change

Growing livelihoods, overcoming poverty, one small business at a time.

   

Our mission:

To enable the very poor in developing countries to build a pathway out of poverty through small business development.

Our work:

Working through partner organisations in developing countries, we facilitate local microfinance schemes which respond directly to the needs of vulnerable rural and urban communities.

 Elizabeth Achieng at her fruit stall, Kibos Road, Kisumu

September 2019: Many thanks to Robert Bowen, Hattie Bowen and Mark Withers of HL Barnes and Sons, Chartered Accountants, Stratford upon Avon, who recently completed an independent examination of our 2019 accounts as a contribution to the work of Just Small Change. Our 2019 annual report and accounts are now available to view on the reports page.

August 2019: Three more training courses have taken place - 27 new clients received training and loans in July and a further 26 in August. A two day leadership training course was also held in August for 50 group leaders, so that they are better equipped to support their group members.

June 2019: We published our second Impact Report. It's available to read or download from our Reports page.

May 2019: A 5 day training course was delivered to 34 new clients. They received their first loans in June. 

April 2019: We visited the community of St Michael's Church, Houghton le Spring. We were delighted to get to meet some of you and to share your wonderful cake and coffee! Thank you for your generous support.

January 2019: Our new Project Coordinator, Ms Roselyne Okanda, joined the project at the start of the year.

Training courses in May and July 2018: the participants with their completion certificates.

 

Training courses June and July 2017: the participants, with their training certificates. 

 

MICROFINANCE - how it works:

we believe that microfinance is a sustainable means of tackling poverty, which leads to lasting personal and economic development. Business training, small loans and ongoing mentoring empower our clients to build businesses, support their families and transform their communities. As loans are repaid, the capital becomes available to re-lend to another aspiring entrepreneur.

WHY WE ARE DIFFERENT

LOW COST: Working with UK volunteers and local partner charities in the field keeps our costs to an absolute minimum, ensuring your donation has maximum impact in transforming lives in developing countries.

DIRECT LINK: Our close links with local partners means we can provide feedback to our UK donors on the progress of businesses & improvement in the lives of people.

BUSINESS TRAINING AND SUPPORT

Most of our clients have very little prior experience of handling money or of business. We offer training and business support to enable them to gain the skills needed to repay a loan and run a successful business. A five day training course covers topics such as costing and pricing, working as a group, managing their money and understanding their rights and responsibilities. This training is delivered through role plays and games so that it is accessible to women with no formal education. Ongoing mentoring is provided once the business is up and running too, via regular visits from Angelina, the programme coordinator.

TRUST GROUPS

Consisting of 5-10 entrepreneurs from the same area, trust groups meet regularly to discuss the progress of their businesses and receive training. By exchanging ideas and encouraging each other, loan repayment rates are increased. Lasting and supportive relationships are formed in these groups - one has even organized a monthly kitchen utensil merry-go round to share their kitchen equipment.

The meetings are also used as an opportunity for additional training on topics relevant to the social issues facing the group eg HIV prevention or health education.

LOCAL FIELD PARTNERS

We work through local field partners who are already closely involved with marginalized communities. This ensures your donation reaches the most needy as efficiently as possible.

VISION AND MOTIVATION

We believe that with suitable training and support, microfinance has the power to unlock the personal and economic potential of the poorest communities, allowing them the opportunity to achieve a life free from poverty, with dignity and purpose.

As Christians, we are responding to Jesus Christ’s call to love and serve the poor. We serve all people regardless of race, faith, ethnicity and gender.

WHERE WE WORK

Tanzania.

Despite growth resulting from gold production and tourism, Tanzania remains one of the most impoverished countries in the world. Approximately 36 percent of Tanzanians live below the poverty line. Yet the country’s economic potential is unmistakable.
One out of every three Tanzanians is self-employed, indicating a high level of microenterprise activity. Only 20 percent of the population, however, has access to a formal bank within an hour’s walking distance of their home.

Kenya.

Kenya is among the world’s 30 poorest countries and is home to one of the world’s harshest HIV and AIDS epidemics. More than a half of the country’s population lives below the poverty line, on less that one US dollar a day. With an estimated population of 436,000, Kisumu has one of Kenya’s highest poverty levels and worst set of health indicators. Approximately 22-25% of the population is HIV positive.