Empowering Somali Women Entrepreneurs Through Income Generating Activity

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Empowering Somali Women Entrepreneurs Through Income Generating Activity

By Mohamed Osman

 Since the collapse of the Siad Barre's government in 1991, women have been the heart of the society, supporting families around the country. They had overcome the odds and become the breadwinners of Somali society and contributing to the economy. “As you know after the collapse of the central government, women were the breadwinners for most families” says Fahan Ali Mohamed.

 The 2018 flash and river floods, caused by heavy rainfall, forced 50-year old Fahan and her family from their home in Beletweyne. The family were forced to flee to higher ground after the Shabelle River burst its banks, destroying houses and crops. 

Save the Children Somalia through its resilience programming supports vulnerable communities with the longer-term aim of building community and household capacities to deal with the shocks and stresses. “The women who were supported were among the poorest women in their community, who were struggling every day to provide for their family” says Fahan

Save the Children provided small cash grants to help women start small businesses and support themselves. Small business grants are turning Somali women’s lives for the better, as they become entrepreneurs and start their own businesses. “What changed is the women have ambition now to grow their business and increase their income and send their children to educations, feed their family, have electricity in their homes and have a stable business” says Fahan

Save the Children encourages the female entrepreneurs to create Village Saving and Loan Association (VSLA) group, each consists of 10 member. Every member contributes US$1.5 per day and is collected and transferred to a saving account. The programme also helps to create support network among the female entrepreneurs. “We talk about business, about the market, what is selling now and how we can overcome challenges” says Fahan.

The income-generating activities supports women across the country to help them kickstart their own businesses. It provides each woman with US$1,000 as a grant, in the hopes that their new business will generate much more income. “Thank GOD, I’m now able to support my family and put some money aside. Save the Children proved to us with little support, women can become successful entrepreneurs” says Fahan.