Organizational Background

Cherehani Africa is a social enterprise founded on the principle of offering financial inclusion through asset financing of production tools and provision of business loans for the most vulnerable women who live in the under-served and rural communities. Most conventional financial institutions are not able to help them because they fall outside the traditional risk assessment in banking which relies on credit history and liability.
 
‘Cherehani’ is the Swahili word for sewing machine. 

 

The Program Model

 Stage I. Identification of participants - The applicants to this program are mainly young women who live in underserved areas in Africa. The potential beneficiaries’ applications are vetted by the Cherehani Africa recruitment committee in partnership with the local religious and administrative institutions.

Stage II. Skills training - The new beneficiaries are attached to seasoned tailors in different markets who then teach them design/tailoring skills. Cherehani Africa through our Center of Excellence provides regular training to the groups on ethical fashion, sustainability, business management, record keeping, product quality and best business practice.

Stage III. Asset transfer- On completion of training, we provide beneficiaries with sewing machines and/or business tools. The sewing machines are repaid by the beneficiaries at a rate of $9 per month over a period of 12 months. On completion of repayment, ownership is fully transferred to the tailor.

Stage IV. Initiating the Culture of Saving –The beneficiaries are encouraged to join and register women groups within their markets. Through the groups the members save weekly. The savings are a social cover against emergencies.

Stage V. Financial Inclusion - The beneficiaries can access loans from a minimum of $100 up to $1,000. The loans enable the beneficiaries to increase their stock, increase their product line and access new markets.

Stage VI. Monitoring and support -Our field managers visit beneficiaries at their work stations to monitor progress and share on their experiences with the project. The visits form the basis of product development and refinement. During the visits, the field managers provide free assessment of the functionalities of the sewing machines and book them for repairs.

 

Target Group

Cherehani Africa targets women of ages between 20-40 years who are interested in the apparel industry or own textile/fashion businesses in rural and underserved markets.

Area of Operation

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We carefully select the target areas for initiating our partnerships. Emphasis is put on the opportunities available for the apparel industry in the region, the challenges and hardships the women undergo and viability of partnering with the women in advocacy issues. The areas we currently operate in are:

Siaya County;

Kisumu County;

Kilifi County;

Kisii County;

Nairobi County;

Homa-Bay County;

Baringo County; and

Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania

 

 

Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women

Maya Angelou

Author, Poet & Civil Rights Activist