Lower Zambezi

Business Development

In June 2023, the Lower Zambezi cohort finalized their business plans and received grants to grow their businesses. At the end of the year, 80% of the cohort had reported improving their monthly income as a result of increased profit and learnings from the financial literacy course. What’s more, the women shared that they feel increased respect at home and improved self-esteem now that they can meaningfully contribute to the income generation of their households. Upon reaching a state of financial stability, one of the women also decided to leave her unhappy marriage, and she built a new house in the village for herself and her two children with the profits from her business of re-selling clothes and cosmetics. The cohort travelled throughout Chiawa Chiefdom, Kafue District and the capital city of Lusaka in 2023 to meet successful female entrepreneurs, all of whom have overcome challenges to build flourishing enterprises. The women learnt about smart business practices, gained a much deeper understanding of market dynamics and the importance of building a strategic network of customers.

Alliness is a vegetable farmer in Mugurameno Village, and she has not only increased her income, but she has also become more proactive in her marketing. From several lessons in the business management trainings, she learnt about market expansion and decided to reach out to multiple lodges in the area and advertise her vegetables. Before the programme, Alliness was regularly supplying vegetables to three lodges, which increased to seven by the end of the year and resulted in her doubling her monthly income. She was also able to grow her savings and purchase a water pump and solar panels to install her own irrigation system and avoid the high monthly cost of water supply to her farm.