In Kenya, only around six percent of women own any land. The Murang’a County Women SACCO (MCWS) – a five-year-old savings and credit cooperative for women – wanted to think bigger, so they built an apartment block to house students, defying the financial and cultural obstacles that stop so many women from owning land in Kenya.
Collecting their savings, which were sometimes as little as $0.10 per day, the group’s members managed to raise $1 million to build a five-storey apartment building. Due to open in September, the apartments should bring in enough rent to give the women of the MCWS the financial muscle they need to branch out into other businesses.
For these women, starting a business that will fetch in huge incomes has been a life-long dream and it is finally coming to pass with the erection of this five-storey building.
Ndegwa is one of 25,000 members of the Murang’a County Women SACCO (MCWS) and her dream has always been to start a meaningful business.
For 15 years, as she worked just to put food on the table, Ndegwa has been driven by the dream of one day starting a “meaningful” business. Through this saving, she will finally reach that goal when she becomes a landlord in a few months.
“This building has created many opportunities for me,” Ndegwa says. “I will now be in a position to improve my creditworthiness and be able to access bigger loans from banks or SACCOs, which will help me invest into other income-generating ventures.”
Ndegwa’s story is similar to the other women who all wanted to have a meaningful source of income and commited to saving.
What lessons can we learn from these Kenyan women?
Leading Ladies, you don’t always have to do it alone, especially if you don’t have the complete money or means to start the project. Tap into the power of a good network of women and you will be shocked at how far you will go.
You also need to start small sometimes. You might not get that huge capital now, but you can start saving for it. Saving 500 Naira or 1000 Naira for a project of 1 million Naira is not too small. Just remain focused on your goal and keep working towards achieving them.
These Kenyan women are perfect women-goals and we hope they inspire you.