Start Businesses for 10 HIV/AIDS Widows in Nigeria

by Development Africa Vetted since 2015
Mrs. Mercy and her shop
Mrs. Mercy and her shop

Mrs. Mercy, shown in the photo, is a 40 year-old HIV-positive widow with three children who opened a shop in 2017 and is now successfully earning a living to support her family. She continues to receive monitoring and attends the monthly support group with her children. Mrs. Bukola, who is a 37-year old widow with two children is one of the most recent beneficiaries of the project. She is in the process of renting a shop and plans to open a food/cold drinks store and small catering business.

Both women express immense gratitude for the help that has been given to them. It has enabled a new lease of life and even though they constantly battle HIV/AIDS, their fight has been made easier and more manageable with the financial independence they have gained.

The aim of the project is to empower poor urban women by creating business opportunities for widows with HIV/AIDS and those who are sole guardians of children orphaned through HIV/AIDS.

Since 2007 Development Africa has opened 57 shops with a 96.5% success rate of continued and successful business.  

After the women have completed their first workshop and training seminar they are then sent to find a location that they would like to rent. They work closely with the support group to ensure that the items they want to sell are in demand in the area and that it’s a suitable place and in a good location.

They are then given the funding needed to purchase their shops stock of goods and supplies. They are expected to turn in all receipts and keep a detailed record of what is bought. After the shop has been open for a few months, it is visited to ensure that everything is running properly.

In December 2017 six additional women have been selected for new businesses that have been sponsored through funds raised on GlobalGiving as well as from other sponsers and they have started to look for shops to rent and the shops should be up and running in the next few weeks. 

Here are photos of three women who have benefitted from the project in 2017. Their shops are running successfully and their lives have been permanently altered through the steady income they now receive. They are attending workshops regularly and are planning to expand the merchandise they sell to increase revenue.

 Their children are all in school and doing well as the mothers now have money to pay for books and other items they need. The income has also led to a better diet as they can afford enough food to sustain themselves. They remain deeply grateful for the life-changing support that was given to them.


*Faces blurred due to privacy regulations

A shop owner in Ibadan
A shop owner in Ibadan

Empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors is essential to build stronger economies, achieve internationally agreed goals for development and sustainability, and improve the quality of life for women, men, families and communities.


 Update on Mrs. Ogeroju's small business in Ibadan, Oyo State: 

Mrs. Ogeroju is a 45-year-old HIV-positive widow who is a part of the DA Small Business Scheme in Ibadan, Oyo State. She has attended workshops to expand her business skills throughout 2016 and 2017 to date, and has expanded her tailoring business to include selling retail items such as car and motorbike spare parts, oil and other car accessories. The workshops taught her to look at her location and analyse which projects/business opportunities could be relevant to potential clients in her area. As her shop is situated on a main road in a densely populated area of Ibadan she decided to try supplying parts/consumable items to the motorbike and car taxis surrounding her and it has been successful so far.

As the workshops teach the business owners about budgeting and saving for expansion, she had generated the capital to expand her business without needing any external assistance. She is excited by the success of her first expansion and hopes to start expanding her product range further in the next few months.

A proud shop owner
A proud shop owner

The empowerment of women is essential for effective development, both at a community level and in society as a whole. For almost 10 years DA has been working with women who are HIV positive in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. These women come from poor backgrounds with low levels of education and due to the virus, have become ostracized in their communities and struggle to provide for themselves and their families.

Little has been done in the areas of rehabilitation and creating income methods for these women. This has become a key target area for DA. Each support group has around 80 – 110 women that attend with almost 200 children coming for their own children’s support group. At each support group, the women involved in our ‘Women Empowerment’ scheme have a thirty minute workshop, updating them and training them on basic shop keeping management skills.

In collaboration with Centre for Child Health and Education, a local NGO, we have developed a programme that provides the women with small shops that sell a variety of products or services (food provisions, hair dressing, catering, etc.). DA provides the initial cost of setting up the business (rent, initial stock, etc.) and provides consistent educational training programmes and workshops on the development and management of their business.

Currrently there is a group of women who have been identified as potential business owners and are on the waiting list as funds become available to finance their start-up. They regularly attend the support groups with their children and are eagerly anticipating when it will be their turn to open a business. 


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Organization Information

Development Africa

Location: Lagos - Nigeria
Website: http:/​/​
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Rima Parker Kempeneer
Lagos, Nigeria
$1,231 raised of $4,914 goal
29 donations
$3,683 to go
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