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.

Just Small Change is a Registered Charity.



May 2022

2022 has been a busy year so far at Just Small Change. Early in the year we carried out, with our Kenyan partners, a review of our Kisumu project. Over the past ten years, the project has provided basic business training and loans to over 350 clients, enabling them to establish and grow their micro-businesses. You can read more about how this has improved incomes and standards of living in our impact report, available here. Over 50  local community groups were set up, so clients can support each other and run informal savings groups to help with cash flow and money management. The savings which clients have been able to accumulate have been essential in helping them to weather the difficulties of the past two years.

To allow clients to access the larger loans needed to scale up their businesses, we worked in late 2021 with our partners to help them establish and run a licensed credit co-operative. Now clients who graduate from the project have a friendly and familiar financial institution to support them for the long term. This was the final step required to complete the project.

Therefore the time came at end March 2022 to hand the project over fully to our Kenyan partners, who will use their intimate local knowledge to run it for the benefit of existing clients and the local community. We will very much miss our involvement, but are delighted that our partners are now able to take this important work forward.

Meanwhile, new opportunities are on the cards for Just Small Change, and we hope soon to begin a project in Uganda. More details to follow!


Following the closure of Virgin Money Giving, we are now able to receive online donations via Stewardship.org. Thank you so much for your generosity, which has continued throughout these difficult months.



 Kenya: new clients trained in August 21 (below) and in November 21 (above)

Mali: newly trained lady with her two goats



November 2021


After a 13 month suspension due to coronavirus restrictions business training restarted in March with a group of 20 ladies.18 more were trained in August, and a further 17 in November. All have received their first loans to start or expand their small businesses.

Kisumu has suffered two waves of coronavirus, and the restrictions imposed (overnight curfew, closure of schools, universities and of many businesses, throwing many out of work) affected most of our clients very badly. To make matters worse, the City authorities began removing the informal markets and trading pitches used by most of our clients. Many have had to relocate their businesses, and some have had their stalls destroyed. Roselyne and Emily are working hard to support clients through community groups, open air meetings and also visiting individual clients at their homes.

Many of our clients and their families have been ill, some have been bereaved.Few medical facilities are available, and those that are must be paid for; these are very difficult times for the communities where we work. Nevertheless, our clients remain committed to their businesses and work hard to succeed.

Thank you for your continued support and interest as our clients work to overcome multiple challenges. The support offered throughout the pandemic by our two workers, Roselyne and Emily, has been essential in enabling many of our clients weather the difficult circumstances of the past two years. .


In an exciting new venture, Just Small Change this year began a microcredit project in South Mali. Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world, where 43% of the 20 million population live in extreme poverty. Rapid population growth and climate change pose major risks for the country’s agriculture and food security. By enabling very poor women to raise goats, the project will improve livelihoods and help to reclaim impoverished land for food production. Almost 100 women and girls have now received training in goat rearing, and a small loan to buy 2 goats each to get started. Feedback so far is very positive

Read more detail on Where we work



2020: training was suspended because of Coronavirus restrictions. Existing clients who repaid loans were able to borrow again.

Autumn 2019: 26 new clients were trained in October and another of similar size took place from 2-6 December. 

 New clients trained October 2019  New clients trained December 2019

October 2019: a short trip to Kisumu. In over 30 meetings with individual clients, we saw and heard how the project has strengthened their incomes and households. We also saw the great impact of the group leader training has had, in making groups more effective. Here are some members of the newly trained Molem group at their weekly meeting, where they track their loan repayments and run a group savings club, as well as discussing their businesses and enjoying social time together. (P.s. this trip was funded by the trustees, not from charity funds:-))

May/August 2019: 27 new clients received training in May, and a further 26 in August.

A two day leadership training course was also held in August for 50 group leaders.

Group leaders training August 2019 
 New clients trained in May 2019  New clients trained in August 2019

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 July. 

January 2019: Our new Project Coordinator, Ms Roselyne Okanda, joined the project.

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. 


MICROCREDIT - how it works:

Business training, small loans and ongoing mentoring help our clients to build businesses, support their families, educate their children and strengthen their communities. Improved incomes enable clients to save, reducing their vulnerability and allowing them to plan for a better future. Finally, as loans are repaid, the capital can be re-loaned to another aspiring entrepreneur, so your donation goes on working.

Clients from the same area meet regularly as a group to discuss the progress of their businesses, operate savings clubs and socialise. Lasting and supportive friendships are formed.

In 2019, 2 day training for group leaders (chair, secretary and treasurer) has been introduced, to boost the effectiveness of the groups.



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. All donations, including any gift aid received, is sent overseas to fund our projects.

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 and also enables excellent accountability regarding the use of the funds we send to our partners in the field. We know exactly how your donations are being spent.

BUSINESS TRAINING AND SUPPORT: Most of our clients have very little experience of handling money or of business. We provide training and mentoring to help them gain these skills. A five day training course for all new clients covers topics such as costing, pricing, stock management, customer relations, credit control, record keeping, managing money, the importance of saving and understanding their rights and responsibilities. Methods include 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 the programme coordinator and the credit officer.

LOCAL FIELD PARTNERS: We work through local field partners who are already closely involved with marginalized communities. They have professional social workers and healthcare staff who work with our project coordinator to identify potential clients.This ensures your donation reaches the most needy as efficiently as possible, and has maximum impact. 


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.


Sikasso Region, South Mali

Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world, where 43% of the 20 million population live in extreme poverty. This poverty is concentrated in the rural areas of South Mali. High population growth rates and climate change pose major risks for the country’s agriculture sector and food security. Just Small Change is working with villagers to increase food production and income by using environmentally friendly methods to improve impoverished land.

Kisumu County, Kenya.

In Kenya, over one person in three lives in absolute poverty (less than $1.90 a day) and the country is home to one of the world’s harshest HIV and AIDS epidemics.  With an estimated population of just over one million, Kisumu County has one of Kenya’s highest poverty levels and worst set of health indicators. Approximately 20% of the population is HIV positive. Female life expectancy is 58 years. 60% of the population live in absolute poverty. There are 35,000 orphans, mostly cared for in relations' or neighbours' families, and 32,000 children engaged in child labour because their carers cannot afford school fees. Just Small Change works with individual households to raise incomes so that our clients can meet their essential household needs, pay school fees and save a little to provide more security.