Kushinga Fencing Group
Kushinga Fencing Group is composed of 4 men with prior experience working in wire making factories. They received $1590 in seed money from the community grant program in June of 2010 and have paid back $750 to date.
The men of Kushinga Fencing Group are utilizing previous experience gained in wire making factories to provide a needed commodity and also to earn income to support their families. The men had been unemployed for many years because most factories across Zimbabwe closed as a result of the country’s distressed economy.
One of the men noticed that villagers were travelling long distances to the nearest town to buy fencing wire for projects such as building chicken pens, fencing newly allocated housing lots at the local township, or fencing schools and hospitals to keep out the animals. He convinced his former coworkers to utilize their experience from the factories and form a wire making business venture. The men submitted a business proposal and received $1590 from the community grant program in June of 2010. Next they collected orders from local customers to ensure the sale of their first batch of wire, and then went into business.
The group members used the capital to rent a wire fabricating machine, buy 400 kilograms of raw wire and tools, and pay rent on a storage room. They made their first batch of wire, sold it and bought their own wire fabricating machine, and continued to make and sell their product to locals. The main challenge they have identified is lack of reliable transportation to go and order the raw wire and bring it to their worksite. They often have to board three buses each way and this is time consuming and expensive. Despite the challenges, the members report that the project is doing well and they have waiting orders from small customers such as families fencing their home sites and starting market gardens, and big customers such as local schools and hospitals.
Kushinga Fencing Group has paid back $750 of the seed money and has asked for an extension period to pay back the rest as they would like to buy more wire fabricating machines and expand the business. The seed money enabled Kushinga members to build a profitable business venture. Proceeds are used to support their families and the orphans left in their care.