KDA Monthly Business E-Forum

Project Designated by: KDA; FSD intern Paul Hemminger

Fundraising Goal: $1,132

Community Contribution: $200.00

Fundraising End Date: 07/27/2010


Microfinance is a tricky business. At KRep Development Agency in Mombasa where I am interning, clients receiving small loans are desperate to make a better life for themselves, but many times they simply don’t know how to invest the loan in a business that will be profitable for them. With each KRep DA loan officer visiting up to 450 clients every week, giving one on one attention is almost impossible. In talking with clients at their weekly gatherings, it is apparent that they yearn to learn, network, discuss and engage with the business community on how to better run their businesses. Unfortunately, this form of education isn’t cheap. It requires a lot of planning, marketing, and pooling of resources from various stakeholders.

My goal is to network university students and professors, businessmen, community based organizations (CBO’s), non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), and microfinance clients so to engage in conversation focused around entrepreneurship. To do so, a monthly entrepreneurship forum will be created. During these forums two speakers will present; a keynote local businessperson teaching the audience a practical business skill such as marketing, bookkeeping, etc. In addition, an accomplished microfinance client within the KDA program will present on how they have successfully used their loans into profitable enterprises. After, we will facilitate small group discussions on how clients can translate what has been presented into their individual businesses. To wrap-up, we will hold a short question and answer period followed by time for networking.

Many members of the community are very excited about the first forum at the end of July. Co-workers and I have been speaking to client groups, businesses, local organizations. With growing popularity, this forum will grow to a premiere business program that will help clients with the practical skills to run and invest in their businesses. The funds for the first forum have been secured, but in order to make this an monthly event, additional funding is needed.

For my birthday, I am asking my friends and family to donate any money you can to help pilot this program. Your funds will go towards practical items like the cost of a venue and refreshments for future forums. Every dollar you give will cover the cost of one person to attend this forum, and subsequently will gain knowledge to help develop their businesses, themselves and their community.

Contact Paul hapaul@bgsu.edu.