Business development using community currency
Being a business development coordinator whose main objective is to see communities’ assets put into good use, I do feel motivated and inspired when I see retailers at one of our communities in Gatina, Nairobi seeking consultation from us on how best to use their savings and what type of investments to undertake. Currently, small business traders participating in the Sarafu-Credit community currency program are saving KES 50/week (Merry-go-round) and the lump sum weekly payments being strictly used for business purposes. The traders also under their own accord save an additional KES 200/month that they intend to use for business improvement with the help and training offered by Grassroots Economics. These community currency traders come up with various initiatives to see their businesses thrive and make my work in asset development quite enjoyable as we seek to build thriving communities with absolute support from the community members.
It’s quite a motivating factor when traders at Gatina, one of our communities participate in programs to increase circulation of Sarafu-Credit as they have noticed that by accepting and using Sarafu-Credit, their volumes of trade get to increase. Just to give an example, a grocery trader called mama Desty who decided to trade using Sarafu-Credit less than a month ago has been excited by the progress she has made in terms of trade volumes - to the point of regretting why she didn’t get to join earlier. This type of excitement from traders, increasing trade volumes and trust among community members have been key reasons why our office at Kawangware has been receiving requests from neighboring communities to have the program expanded to cover them.