Teaching Business in Africa

Recently, I had the privilege to teach business fundamentals to a bunch of African small business owners - a first for me. This was in a village way out in the boonies, and it was something that I was anticipating for some time. As you may know, Fiona and I were on the road for quite a while traveling all over Africa, so I had some time to plan this out. The challenge as it was presented to me was that these guys (and gals) - can't read, can't write, and they can't count. A rather challenging environment for business development ... It wasn't quite like that, they were really pretty sharp in their own culture, and I was pleased to find out they have all done well with their projects. In addition to the challenges, I had to work with a translator, as shown in the picture above
You see, these are the participants in our Andando micro loan program, and they've had a few months now to utilize these small loans for the purpose of making a living. My goal was to help them improve their business by teaching a fews key business points. It went well, except it was really hot inside this building, I mean like 100 degrees. It was a concrete building with a tin roof in the middle of the African bush, no air conditioning or power or water. It was also very humid, but they didn't seem to mind (I did!).
But I was delighted to hear their success stories and most of them are doing pretty well already. In fact they have paid back most of the micro loans already and we can now expand the program. It was a long day, and after an "African" lunch, where everyone sits on the ground and eats out of a communal bowl, we visited some farms nearby where some of the loan recipients work their land.
It was a great day, very hot, rather exhausting, but very rewarding - Kevin