Just Small Change

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


"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new."


Loans to date: 623

Update June 2018: Angelina reports that the businesses of the 50 clients who received loans in September to November 2017 are all flourishing - very encouraging news! Angelina has just completed 5 days business training for 25 more clients, who have just received their small loans. Earlier, in March, she trained a further 25 new clients, who are all now successfully trading, and she is very busy mentoring them all. You can see their group photos on our home page.

Round up of 2017:

25 new ladies successfully completed their 5 day business training in March 2017, and received small loans. Here they are with their certificates and green loan passbooks. We visited 7 of these ladies at their places of business in May 2017. They impressed us with their energy and determination to succeed. Each one expressed improved self esteem, greater empowerment and better hopes for the future. The training and support provided by Angelina was described as essential to their progress. We were very encouraged by these meetings.

Ladies with certificates

In June and July, 50 more attended the 5 day training workshops run by Angelina. These formed ten new groups, had their business plans ready, and after a successful fundraising drive, all had received their loans by November 2017. Our oldest client, Gaudensia, started her new business at the grand age of 93! The types of business include fishmongers, brickmakers, market gardening, maize growing, chicken rearing, making and selling liquid detergent, ropemaking and selling peanut butter.


August 2016: We are delighted that Angelina, who has experience in both Microfinance and in small business development, has now started working full time for our partners in Kisumu, Kenya. She will be training and supporting existing as well as new clients, enabling the programme to expand securely and sustainably. We are looking forward to working closely with her to achieve her aim.

July 2016: the first group set up by Angeline, the new programme coordinator in Kisumu, has chosen the name ‘Focused’,  showing their determination to succeed. Read more about their new businesses here.  Angeline has also completed initial business training with 22 more ladies who are hoping to receive funding soon. 



Faith Aching Oyieko has used her loan to open a shop. With her profits, she will be to afford to pay her rent and meet the basic needs of her children, including their medical care. Update January 17: Faith’s business is going well. Turnover has increased and she says the quality of her family’s day to day life has improved as a result




Jane Achieng Otui

Jane’s new business is a grocery kiosk. Her profits will help her to care for the six orphaned children of her sister. Update January 17 : Jane’s profits have enabled her to extend her building and buy more stock, as well as paying the school fees for three of her sister’s children.



Jane Naliaka John

Jane Naliaka John has set up a school lunch service. She will use her profits to pay for meals for her six orphaned grandchildren, and also to expand her business.

Update January 17: Jane has made enough profit to provide for her family and also to put a sheet iron roof on her kiosk, so she avoids panic in the rainy season and has shelter during sunshine.


Kesiah Aumo Aguko



Kesiah has used her loan to buy beads which she manufactures into rosaries at home and sells at local markets. Her profits will enable her to provide food, shelter and medical care for herself and her small baby. Update January 17: Kesiah’s turnover has increased so much that she has been able to employ two assistants to help making her rosaries. So more families are being supported!


 Magdaline has set up a charcoal selling business, which should enable her to pay school fees for her children. Here she is with one of her customers. Update January 17: Magdaline used her profits to increase her stock, so now she sells wholesale as well as selling to consumers. She and her family have been able to move to a more secure house.



Mercy has set up a stall selling second hand clothes and household linens. Update January 17: Mercy has started to sell household hardware alongside her linens. Her profits now provide for all the basic needs of her family; she is proud of what she has achieved so far.


July 2016: The 'Ladies for Better Life' trust group from Kisumu, Kenya, have recently all repaid their first micro loans. Here they are marking the occasion with a team photo.



Moses completed a free course in pig rearing, he went along. Our partners in Tanzania, JIKWAMUE, helped him write a business plan and provided a loan, which he used to rent an acre of land and buy two pigs. Within a year, he had raised and sold 30 piglets, and with the profit he bought 3 acres of farmland and a building plot for a house. Growing his own maize has cut his pig feeding costs; he also grows sunflowers to sell the oil, and rears chickens to provide more regular cash flow. He and his wife are now able to send his children to school, pay for healthcare when needed, and are building a family home.


Maria’s dream is to expand her dressmaking business. She has used her loan from JIKWAMUE, our partners in Tanzania, to set up a small shop beside the local primary school; she sells groceries, school stationery and sweets morning and evening. In between, she sews school uniforms and dresses. She is saving to buy a second sewing machine. She believes this is less risky than borrowing directly to fund the new machine, as her dressmaking client base may take time to grow. She hopes eventually to employ an apprentice seamstress too, using the profits from the shop to pay this person’s wages. Great impact from one small loan!


Angelo had some metalworking equipment and knew there was plenty of demand for gates, window grilles and furniture, but with no money for materials, and no prospect of a bank loan, he couldn’t get started. A small loan from JIKWAMUE, our partners in Tanzania, solved this problem; he now has a workshop and is building a successful business which now employs two college students part time. So one loan is now providing income and training for them, as well as a brighter future for Angelo and his family.