Empowering women to run a business that feeds their families and communities
A women-led, market-driven solution
While the lives of women in Sierra Leone have improved in many areas, the pace has been slow. According to the Sierra Leone 2015 Population and Housing Census, 28% of women are the sole or main income producer and decision-maker with no education and paid employment, and 66% of women do not have the ability to read and write in any language.
World Hope believes every person should have the opportunity to live a life of dignity; to not only survive but to prosper, to have the ability to provide food, shelter, and an education for one’s family.
Through a corporate sponsorship by Tree of Life Bookstores, World Hope International has constructed a bakery, introduced business training, and launched a new, womenled business in Makeni, Sierra Leone, called the “Betteh Bakery.”
Officially dedicated and commissioned in July 2019 in a ceremony well attended by many community members and local church leaders, the bakery affords women the opportunity to gain leadership and business skills, establish a bakery, and link the business to market.
- Empower women to generate income to support their families’ daily needs
- Train women on basic business skills including planning, management, budgeting and marketing
- A modern bakery will be constructed in Makeni as an income generating activity for women equipped with bread kneading machine (roller and bowl types) and dough balling machine
- Women will learn the methodology of baking bread and other baked goods
- Opportunities for microenterprise and market linkages will be established for the fresh baked goods
“I am a business woman! The business training I attended is helping me a lot in organizing my business better. The aspect of training I benefited most is the one on cost/benefit analysis. This will help us to account for every cent expended or received in the bakery project. I intend to pass on this knowledge to my workers in order to improve on my businesses.”
Through this initiative, women are learning about the power they have to voice their ideas and be recognized for their action, the equitable opportunity to advance in their career goals, improvement in gender diversity, and equal wages for equal work and experience.
A three day business training was held for all participants by two local consultants, focused on simple business management and marketing skills. Topics included starting a business, customer relations, reasons for business failures, cost/ benefit analysis, marketing strategies, hygiene and sanitation practices, packaging, labeling, promotional strategies and competition in business.
Certificates were awarded to the participants at the end of the training. The women will apply the knowledge gained from the workshop to help develop and properly manage the bakery project.
The bakery has four departments: Production, Marketing, Finance and Administration. There is a dedicated financial officer who monitors the sales and payment of staff.
The women who received business training are the marketing agents for the distribution and sale of the bread. They market at churches, schools, and to individuals. The bakery produced about 250 loaves per day in the first week and within tthree hours, all the loves sold. The bakery will increase their production according to the demand and currently sell the bread for SLE 1,000.