Gathimba Edwards Foundation was initially set up to provide education and shelter for children and their families. However, following community engagement we decided that we wanted to do more in assisting families to become self sufficient. With this in mind we developed the Two Feet business start-up initiative which has so far enabled 40 families to plan, start and run their own businesses such as hair salons, horticulture and dairy farming, retail shops and cafes, across 13 regions of Kenya.
Following a thorough assessment of set up costs, viability and sustainability, we provide part loan/part grant funding to each business. A loan payback agreement is decided and the return of money is reinvested into future businesses for other families. Each business is allocated a business mentor who guides them with procurement and is actively involved through our monthly review process. Our team also collates lessons learned from each business to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness going forward. Business owners also have the opportunity to join a business forum in their local area which provides a platform for sharing ideas and experiences.
Our team work tirelessly to support the 'Two Feet' families in establishing successful businesses. Naturally, running and logistical costs are occurred with the regular mentoring and monitoring nature of the programme. We cannot thank Helen Mill and The Alternative Board, enough for their support from February 2022 as Headline Sponsor of the Two Feet initiative, enabling us to run the programme with maximum effectiveness.
Myles Edwards (GEF) & Helen Mill (The Alternative Board)