Field Updates

Kefeta: Cultivating a small business titan, one coffee cup at a time

Nearly one year ago, Aregash was sleeping on the floor of an Internally Displaced People (IDP) camp in Debre Berhan, Ethiopia. Today, she runs a popular and profitable eatery in the camp and is not just self-employed, but also an employer.

Aregash fled her home with her four-year-old son due to the civil war. She found her way to the IDP camp while waiting to reunite with her husband. She was alone and penniless but remained hopeful and resolute about finding a way out of a desperate situation.

Quickly drawing on her instincts, Aregash convinced people in the IDP community to invest 2,000 ETB (about $40) in her idea to establish a coffee business. Within a week of opening her tiny storefront, she was able to pay back her debt. By the time our Kefeta program arrived on the scene, Aregash was brewing more than coffee—she was incubating a grand plan to grow her business.

Aregash signed up for classes Kefeta offered on financial literacy, banking and investing, and job creation. She applied for and secured a 7,500 ETB (about $145)  grant based on her proven success and her solid business plan to expand from a coffee stand to a café serving breakfast and snacks.

“I was able to purchase all my supplies with the loan and launched my new business. It didn’t take long for it to take off. So much so that I had to hire my sister to help me keep up with demand.”

With the help of Amref staff, Aregash makes sure to deposit her profits in a bank, and in doing so, helps her establish credit. With marginalized and unbanked women unable to access financial institutions, Aregash is breaking the cycle of poverty and playing a sophisticated role in the world of finance.

“Not only do I tell my friends about the services offered by Kefeta, but we also try to work together.”

It is the making of a small business titan, one cup at a time.

Aregash pouring coffee

Photo of Aregash pouring coffee by Amref Ethiopia and the Kefeta Program team.

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