Diversifying Business in Malawi

Meet Irene Henderson

Ireen at Kasese Trading Center

For the past six  years, Ireen Henderson has been running a green maize business in Central Malawi. Though everyone loves her maize, Ireen has still struggled. 

“My capital was so small,” she says.

“With just a minor loss, I used to close up shop. Not only that, I lacked skills on how best to run my business.”

Ireen exerted every effort to make ends meet for her family of five. Tired of instability, she applied for a microloan at Orant. In December 2021, she was accepted into our Financially Empowering Microloans for Women Program. With 100,000MWK, she was able to top off her business capital.

“Before getting the loan, we went through some business skills training sessions,” she says.

“The sessions were an eye opener. They helped me to start thinking of diversifying my business.”

Ireen decided to invest part of her loan in sweetpotato business.

This way, she could reduce loss risk and smooth proceeds. Now she has found some peace. She can comfortably provide for her household. From her business proceeds, Ireen has been able to pay for household necessities and her children’s school fees.

She has no regrets about diversifying her business.

If she encounters losses, she is able to support one business with the proceeds from the other. When asked about her future plans, Ireen says she wants to continue growing her business. She is also saving to buy goats.

“I never knew I could do this much with a green maize business,” says Ireen.

“I believe that no business is too small. With training and dedication, I make the most from my small business. Thank you to Orant and the donors. You have given my business an opportunity to grow.”

Learn more about Orant’s Agriculture & Business Programs here

The Orant Journal