Poultry and dairy farming, tailoring, health centers, and hostels are a few of the social enterprises established by sisters participating in the Hilton Foundation-funded Sisters’ Blended Value Project, undertaking the Social Enterprise Programme – Growth. The second module of the Programme began on Monday, 18th July 2022 and ended on Friday, 22nd July 2022 at Strathmore University Business School, Nairobi, with 24 participants drawn from eight congregations across Kenya. The main focus areas for this module were; setting goals and strategy, marketing and sales, financial management, and leveraging on technology for operational efficiency. The module was covered over four days.
Sisters are often sought after for support and guidance within their communities and beyond – as servant leaders, and in partial fulfillment of their charisms and mandates. To achieve this, it is worth noting that the sisters do a lot of work in the form of projects aimed at addressing specific community challenges such as access to affordable health care, housing for the elderly, rehabilitation services, among other vital services. However, most of this work is looked at as charity , rather than social enterprises. In a world where resources are scarce and the demand is ever-growing, almost exponentially, this approach is not sustainable and leads to challenges in operations and growth. One congregation running hostels reported that they often operate at a loss as guests take advantage of the sisters’ generosity and inability to withhold aid to those in need.
The Growth Programme aims to teach sisters how to effectively manage their social enterprises through strategies that not only put the well-being of people first, but also consider surplus for scaling purposes that will enable them to make a greater impact within their communities while staying true to their charisms and mandates. The programme also seeks to give participants a greater understanding of goal setting that maps the future of an enterprise while prioritizing people, surplus and the planet, in what is now called the Triple Bottom-Line.
After Kenya, the Programme will take place in Tanzania, with Uganda and Zambia following respectively. The Social Enterprise Programme – Growth is structured in four modules in each of the four countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia), maintaining the same group of participants throughout the Programme. Module three is set to begin in Nairobi in September.
Article by Katherine Keango
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