I hesitate to overgeneralize by listing some of the most typical microenterprise projects we see through BGR, but I do want to list a few of the most common ones. I don’t do this to give you an exhaustive list of every possibility but to illustrate what we’ve been talking about these past few blogs and provide some concrete examples. Over the last two years, BGR has helped facilitate the start of almost 1,600 microenterprise projects globally. Here are some of the common ones…
- Small shops and goods to sell on a local market. This could range from food items to housewares. It could be a shop operated out of a home or in a local market. Initial capital would likely be used for inventory, rent, or improvements of the area from which to sell.
- Training for the enterprise. Often overlooked, this is an important way that BGR helps people start a microenterprise. A person or community might have an idea of what they would like to do but not necessarily the expertise. A project might provide locally available and culturally appropriate training and solutions, for example, skills training in sewing, welding, small machine repair, etc.
- Tools for the enterprise. Sometimes, an individual might need tools to start the enterprise. They could be as simple as farm tools (hoes, shovels, etc.). It could be a sewing machine for a widow or child rescued out of sex trafficking and other materials they could use to earn a livelihood.
- Production enterprises. These projects are usually location specific for marketable services or products. Think of a grinding mill in an area that must haul corn several miles to get it ground, or a small welding shop that would allow not only income for the owner but maybe a chance of employment of a few locals.
- Repair and service centers. These are also usually location specific and could be as simple as tools needed to repair damaged tires. It could be a small electronics or engine repair shop.
Again, I am not trying to give an exhaustive list of all the microenterprise projects that we do. I am only trying to share with you a glimpse of the possible ways that microenterprise can and is helping people.
One of the best things we can do to help people in poverty is enable them to gainful employment. Microenterprise has been one of the best ways that we have done this as an organization.