Some families choose to earn their living by developing a small business that is run by family members. These businesses are often conducted from the home for a variety of reasons including a disability, age, or care-giving responsibilities and are as varied as the people operating them. Some of the choices for the homebound are tailoring, which requires the purchase of a sewing machine, supplies and training but offers a built-in clientele among neighbors in small villages; food preparation for sale to street vendors or to supply small food stands; rearing chickens or ducks for eggs and meat or goats for milk and meat. Another choice is contracting to do piece work for small industries. For instance, poor women might spin silk threads into yarn, or rear silk worms in the earliest stages of their development, allowing them to fulfill their needs while contributing to a larger industry.

When there is a male head of household or sons strong enough to be a rickshaw driver, a family, or several families, might purchase a rickshaw and share the work and profits. This gives several people the ability to work by sharing the same vehicle. Family gardens provide fresh vegetables to sell at local markets and fruit trees add additional income, as well as nurturing their own families.

Other small businesses are started by small groups of women working together to produce a product, such as soap making or snack making for local sale. For the ultra poor to begin their uplift from poverty, a grant is necessary; for the less poor, micro finance can be sufficient. More than 7,600 familes received grants to start their own business.

Program Costs:

  • Grants for small family businesses    $60.00
  • Training for small family business, if needed    $20.00
  • Purchase of boat and fishnet    $145.00
  • Purchase of new rickshaw or van    $210.00
  • Purchase of used bicycle rickshaw or van    $90.00