August 15, 2013 | Contribution by
MOSERI MAC SAMUEL
Moseri Mac Samuel is a Deputy CEO of the Innovation Empowerment Program, Kenya
©One Hen Campaign
In rural Kenya, a small civil society group founded in 2009 by a few University of Nairobi recent graduates, Innovation Empowerment Programme (IEP), has been trying to economically empower low income women and youth with the One Hen Campaign Project. The way it works is that instead of cash, IEP gives a microloan in the form of a hen and a cage plus training to youth and women to support entrepreneurship with poultry products. Recipients pay IEP back not with cash but with two chicks that are then lent to others. This project was the winner for the Most Promising Approach in the JKP’s spring Experiences from the World contest (link to overview blog
We recently asked Moseri Mac Samuel, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the IEP, about how the program is doing. He told us that the project now benefits 4,000 people, with incomes rising more than $400 per year for each family. One single mother with four kids has even managed to parlay 1 hen into 25 hens and a village salon, helping her to feed and educate her family. However, coping with a lack of microcredit from financial institutions to reinvest in projects is an ongoing challenge, one that Samuel feels stems from a pervasive—and incorrect—view that youth aren't creditworthy.