The eldest of seven children, 22-year-old Nancy worried about her future ever since her family’s financial problems forced her to drop out of school in 2017.
“There was little to eat at home since my father’s income from repairing bicycles was never enough. I didn’t want my future to continue like this, so I decided to work hard for my family,” she says.
As she pondered her future and that of her siblings, a member of the GOAL team informed Nancy of the Covid-19 Resilience and Recovery Programme (CRRP), from GOAL Uganda and the Mastercard Foundation. CRRP provides a number of integrated interventions, including; training and support in agricultural input/output systems; access to affordable financial services, and business skills training to young women, men and youth-led enterprises.
An Opportunity to Upskill
Nancy was provided with an opportunity to train as an agro-input supplier in her community, as part of the CRRP project. This was done in partnership with a local private sector company, Farm Inputs Care Centre (FICA Seeds), a quality seed distribution company operating in the region. She received training and support in becoming a sales agent for FICA Seeds.
“Once I started the business of selling seeds, including sorghum, maize and soya beans, I searched for farmers who needed different seed varieties in the villages around Lira, using my old bicycle. Business was growing, but I needed to be more mobile.”
With her new income, Nancy was recently able to acquire an affordable motorbike loan through Centenary Bank, who are also partnering on the CRRP project. She borrowed 5,900,000 USh – Ugandan Shillings (€1,450) for the new mode of transport, which now enables her to buy, move and sell stock faster. The motorbike has transformed her life and her business.
“Previously, I would earn about USh 180,000 (€45) in a season using my old bicycle. With the motorbike, I am now able to make over USh 1,600,000 (€395) per season,“ she says with a smile.
Ambition and Optimism
Nancy’s success has made her even more ambitious and optimistic. She projects to make USh 4,800,000 (€1,180) over the next year by reaching new customers around Lira.
“Life is much better today. I can sell more seeds to farmers than before. This has enabled me to increase my income, to look after myself and my family,” she says with pride as she mounts her motorbike to supply another customer in the outskirts of town.
“I have not only learned technical and business skills around agri-inputs in GOAL’s CRRP project, but also learned about diverse home farming, to provide more food to my family. I currently have stock of over 1,000 catfish in one of the three ponds I recently constructed with the help of my siblings. Things are good.”
CRRP has also facilitated over 20 more members of Nancy’s community to access USh 30,000,000 (€7,400). With this support they continue to invest in various enterprises to improve their financial security and independence.
In the past year, GOAL supported over 150,000 people like Nancy to help build sustainable livelihoods for themselves and their families. You can support GOAL’s work in 15 countries by donating today.