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What kind of businesses do people start?

One of the unique parts of our SIA Small Business Fund program is that groups can start the business of their choice. We do not choose a business for them. Before they receive the initial $100 grant, the new business groups work with the local coordinator to evaluate their strengths, interests, skills, and current assets to help them decide on a business. They also look at market demand in the area. Sometimes the families already have a business that needs an injection of cash for it to flourish.

Once they decide, the group then fills out a Business Plan worksheet, which outlines initial costs, on-going expenses, expected sales, and defined roles for each group member. So, what kinds of businesses do people start with their SIA grant?

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY (Chickens, pigs, goats, etc.)


This family started their poultry business in 2014. They are saving to pay for school fees for their children. “I am proud of my business,” says the woman. Her husband wants to build a bigger pen to keep the chickens safe. (Uganda)



Chimwemwe buys stock from the city and resells it in Manyamula Village. She sells soap, shampoo, snacks, cooking oil, and other small items. (Malawi)



Kondwani stands in front of the harvest of maize from his family’s farm. (Malawi)

POTTERY / HANDICRAFTS (Mat making, basket weaving, etc.)


Members of a Small Business Fund group in Uganda demonstrate how they make pots. They are sold to people who use them for cooking and storing water. (Uganda).

SERVICES (Baking, cooking, hair braiding, photography, etc.)


Meanly shows us a bucket of donuts. She sells in the markets and to the local World Vision training center. (Malawi)

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