Clothes and Cereals: Joyce’s Business Wisdom

Starting a business is one thing but being strategic about how to grow it is another challenge.  South Sudanese women who partner with Manna Microfinance receive enterprise training and share their experiences to help one other to progress.

They all belong to small investment groups who receive loans together and support each other throughout the process.  This sharing of knowledge and expertise enables the women to succeed in their different ventures.

Joyce Robert Almas, a mother of four children, is one Manna partner who has benefited from exploring different avenues in the process of starting her business.  She has been a huge source of encouragement for the other women in her group.  After separating from her husband, she joined Manna through a friend who attended the same church as her in Juba and received a loan of 3,000 SSP.  She decided to start selling women’s clothes and fabric to provide for her children who range from 11 to 18 years old.

AID staff member Tabitha (middle left) with Joyce (left) and other Manna Microfinance partners

However, she found that business was quite intermittent and seasonal because people did not buy clothes consistently.  After evaluating her success, she expanded her business by selling cereals in front of her clothes stall and received a loan of 20,000 SSP from Manna to facilitate this.  Joyce figured that people eat every day so she should sell something that people would buy every day.  Now she has a consistent income through the cereals which is boosted considerably at times when people tend to buy more clothes.

It is so encouraging to hear about women like Joyce who critique their businesses and employ wise strategies to make the most of opportunities.  Please pray for Joyce and the other women in her group that their businesses would continue to flourish and that they would grow in their knowledge of the love of God as they enjoy fellowship with one another.