Boosting Women-Owned Enterprises in IDP Camps of Mogadishu
Wednesday, September 6, 2023
Fadumo Adan carefully measures flour for a customer in her small food shop located in a run-down camp in Mogadishu. As a 44-year-old widow, Fadumo no longer has to worry about providing meals for her children.
“We have the privilege of cooking every day now, and hunger is no longer a concern,” she said. “There was a time when I was genuinely worried. Without support, the anxiety can be overwhelming. However, ever since we received funding to invest in a business, all those worries have vanished.”
Fadumo was among the 100 female breadwinners in IDP camps in Kahda and Garasballey districts who received $350 each to improve the sustainability of their businesses by purchasing supplies or equipment.
She decided to invest the money in acquiring more food items such as flour, rice, and sugar. Fadumo is grateful that she can sell these products quickly as they are always in demand.
Prior to opening her shop in the camp center, Fadumo was only earning $3 per day from a makeshift table near her shack in Haq-dhowr camp in Kahda. Now, she earns between $5 and $10 per day, allowing her to meet her family’s needs and save some money. She recognizes the value of the business training she received alongside the financial support.
“I was advised to choose a strategic location for my business. Furthermore, I learned the importance of training someone else to manage it in case I fall ill or become occupied with other matters. I also realized the significance of maintaining records of stock and profits by using books and pens,” she shared.
In 2019, Fadumo, her elderly mother, and six children were forced to leave Yaaq-Bari village in Lower Shabelle due to displacement. She owned a shop there but had to abandon everything while fleeing. Being an experienced businesswoman, she understands the importance of effectively managing finances.
“When you see your neighbor going hungry, you can’t just stand by and do nothing. Of course, I have to provide food on credit, but I have to be cautious not to run out of everything. I need repayment to restock, but sometimes people move away before paying me back,” she lamented.
Another beneficiary of the funding, Safiyo Abdi Malin, used the funds to establish a shop where she sells her own woven mats, baskets, and cultural items. She purchased rattan, reed, sticks, needles, and thread to create hand fans. Safiyo acquired these skills from her mother at a young age.
Now earning $8 to $12 per day, her family’s meals have significantly improved. Her life has transformed from the days when she used to sell her handicrafts on the streets of the city.
“This opportunity has transformed us, and I never imagined we would reach this level,” she expressed gratefully.
Safiyo, along with her husband, parents, and siblings, was displaced from Oflawe village, which is 80 kilometers west of Baidoa. They were successful farmers until a recent drought pushed them into destitution and forced them to flee. In 2021, they settled in Al-Hidaya camp in Garasballey.
Previously, her husband earned a meager income by digging waste pits, but now he works alongside Safiyo in their entrepreneurial venture. They hope that their business will eventually allow them to save enough money to leave the camp behind.
Shukri Abdinor Ibrahim, a young breadwinner of her family at the age of 17, utilized her tailoring skills to establish a shop specializing in women’s clothing and repairs.
Since her father is paralyzed and unable to work, the family relied on her mother’s income from washing clothes. However, everything changed for the better when Shukri started earning $5 to $7 per day, which now includes supporting her parents and eight siblings.
“I received training in tailoring and business practices, including working within a timeframe and marketing my products. I have built a sizable customer base, and many people in the area come to me for clothes,” she proudly explained.
Shukri and her family were displaced from Kuntawarey in Lower Shabelle, where a devastating drought destroyed their three-hectare farm and claimed the lives of their 50 camels and 70 goats. Consequently, they were forced to migrate in 2017.
This small business investment initiative was funded by the German government and implemented by two NGOs, Nomadic Assistance for Peace and Development, and Terre des Hommes.