Income Generation for 5,000 Poor Ethiopian Women

Nov 11, 2010

Progress on Income Generation for Ethiopian Women

Mintuwab Ketema
Mintuwab Ketema

Pathfinder/Global Giving

Income Generation for 5,000 Poor Ethiopian Women

September 2010

Through the support of generous Global Giving donations, Pathfinder is pleased to provide 11 Ethiopian women with start-up funds for income-generating activities (IGA). These funds are used by the new entrepreneurs to rent a shop, purchase equipment, and obtain additional materials. Previously, all of these women earned their living by collecting firewood, which is arduous and offers little financial gain. Through this initiative, these 11 women have launched a variety of businesses, including grain and vegetable trading, crafts trading and Injera bread baking. Three members of this Pathfinder/Global Giving cohort are featured in this report, which documents the transformative impact that IGA have on the lives of the women and their families. 

Mintuwab Ketema formerly earned her income through the sale of firewood that she collected from a distant forest. This occupation required that she walk 15 kilometers several times a week to collect the wood. The round trip journey would take nearly eight hours and Mintuwab would return home carrying a bundle of wood on her back. For this intense effort her earning was only 10 birr (USD $0.60).

This quarter, Pathfinder offered Mintiwab a seed grant to start her own small business enterprise. With these funds she established her own shop, from which she sells firewood purchased at the local wood industry. Her shop attracts numerous clients and the profit enables her to support her family. Mintiwab now earns approximately 30 birr daily (USD $1.80), which covers her living expenses, which include food, housing, utilities, and community association fees. She is grateful to have received the IGA award and proud to be an independent business owner.

Nunu Bereket and her husband have two school-age daughters in grade 7 and 8. Similar to the other Pathfinder/Global Giving IGA beneficiaries, Nunu previously earned her living through firewood collection. Thanks to the support of Pathfinder and Global Giving, Nenu was able to launch a trading business, in which she sells wheat, maize, butter, charcoal and sugar. Nunu is very satisfied with her new business, which she plans to expand, as it provides her with increased income, as well as relief from the dangers and stresses of firewood collection. In addition to providing for the basic needs of the family, Nunu can also cover the costs of her daughters’ education.

Buzunesh Desalgne is a widow and mother of six children. Like the other Pathfinder/Global Giving IGA beneficiaries, Buzunesh used to collect and sell firewood as a means of income. With help from this IGA initiative, she started an Injera baking business and she now sells the traditional bread to nearby cafeterias. The income from this business enables her to support her entire family.

Pathfinder is deeply appreciative of the continued generosity of Global Giving donors. This IGA initiative in Ethiopia is an important component of Pathfinder’s global effort to empower women so that they can support their families, educate themselves and their children, and engage themselves in the community.

Nunu Bereket
Nunu Bereket
Buzunesh Desnalge
Buzunesh Desnalge

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Project Leader

Mengistu Asnake

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Where is this project located?