Activities to strengthen Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA) carried out through Practical Action’s Women’s Economic Empowerment project have enabled Millicent Akinyi Dula to sharpen her leadership skills for the VSLA Rarieda Technology Advisors Women Group (RATAD), of which she is the chairperson.
“Ever since I was appointed as the chairperson, I’ve gained skills and confidence to make informed decisions, consulting the members”
In December 2020, Millicent led her group to develop a business plan and proposal that secured them a capital injection worth KES 300,000 (around USD 2,730) from Practical Action in the form of a reimbursable grant.
“Previously, we didn’t have the courage of borrowing money externally because of high interest rates and lack of knowledge on the application process, but after the business management training, we are now confident that we can borrow and pay promptly.”
With the money, the group has purchased a motorised briquette making machine, which they will use for group production as well as for individual production. The machine has enabled efficient production of briquettes thus relieving all of them from the tiring and slow manual production process, rendering low quality briquettes. With this technology, Millicent now aims at producing at least 40 sacks of briquettes per month. She has also identified other marketing strategies, such as product demonstration. She hopes that this new approach would help her to increase her sales amidst the pandemic.
She says “I am grateful for the training and support Practical Action’s Women’s Economic Empowerment project team has accorded us. I am confident that through practice, hard work and determination, I will reach my dream of building a briquette production centre in my village.”
This story has been developed by our partner Practical Action as part of our Women’s Economic Empowerment Program.