Why I’m Optimistic About 2023: TechnoServe’s Clients Share What Keeps Them Going

While the struggles and challenges for millions of people around the world are very real, so is the reason to hope. 

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The conflict in Ukraine, climate change, the global hunger crisis – it can feel like each new day just comes with another reason to worry and become more anxious about the future. But while the struggles and challenges for millions of people around the world are very real, so is the reason to hope. 

A farmer learns new techniques to improve her crops and income. An entrepreneur is able to hire more employees for his business. A young child receives the nutritious food she needs from a parent who now has a sustainable livelihood. At TechnoServe, we’re privileged to work with those who continue striving for more despite difficult circumstances. Here are a few of our clients who make us optimistic about 2023. 

An Entrepreneur Achieves Her Business Dreams 

Lúcia Arão Ndimande in her shop in Maputo, Mozambique

While Lúcia Arão Ndimande, a woman in Mozambique, already knew principles of business, she had difficulties with financial management. She wasn’t sure how to design a growth strategy. It was during challenging times that Lúcia was invited by TechnoServe to join one of its business training programs. Before working with TechnoServe, Lúcia made an average of approximately $141 per week. After participating in TechnoServe’s program, she saw her sales double and now makes approximately $266 per week. 

“Even though I live in an unequal society, I don’t give up on chasing my dreams. And I pass this knowledge on to my family and other women.”

Lúcia Arão Ndimande

Puerto Rico Farmers Find Their Resilience Yet Again

Rafael Rodríguez Hernández tends to a coffee tree on his farm.

Over five years ago, Hurricane Maria made landfall on the American island of Puerto Rico, causing the deaths of over 3,000 people and billions of dollars in damage. And it destroyed 80% of the island’s coffee trees, devastating the livelihoods of hundreds of farmers. Last year, the island was on track to produce even more coffee than it had before Hurricane Maria. 

But after Hurricane Fiona hit the island last September, many farmers, like Rafael Rodríguez Hernández, found themselves in a grimly familiar position: assessing the damage to their farms and their futures after a devastating storm. The scope of rebuilding from this latest hurricane is still unclear. But at least two things are certain: the income, skills, and connections these farmers gained in the last few years will help them to withstand this current blow. And second, these farmers will do whatever it takes to rebuild their lives and livelihoods—yet again.

“Maria showed us we are not invincible. But it also showed us we can get back up again, with even more strength.”

Rafael Rodríguez Hernández

An Entrepreneur Succeeds in Running Her Two Businesses

Elisa Atália Zibia braids a client’s hair in her hair salon.

For many years, Elisa Atália Zibia worked in a hair salon in Mozambique to help with household expenses and to support her young son. But when she and her husband got a divorce, her need for an independent income became acute. So when Elisa received an invitation for free business training from TechnoServe, she didn’t think twice about taking the opportunity. Since working with TechnoServe, Elisa’s sales have more than doubled.   

“I can help buy medicine for my mother. I have hired a domestic helper. I can pay my brother’s school fees and for my son’s schooling. I fight every day to ensure that my son has the right to study…because I want to give him the chance that I did not have.”

Elisa Atália Zibia

A Farmer Supports Her Children and Her Community

Rural woman farmer, Lesbia Ludia Juárez, in Guatemala.
With a husband who had migrated to the United States in 2004, the weight of improving the life of the next generation of her family largely rested on the shoulders of Lesbia Ludia Juárez, 45. 

In the past, Lesbia Ludia Juárez says, her family faced harsh challenges. As they lived on a low income, a lack of medical care and poor nutrition meant there were limited opportunities to succeed. The future, in Lesbia’s words, was “complicated.” With a husband who had migrated to the United States in 2004, the weight of improving the life of the next generation of her family largely rested on her shoulders. Five years ago, Lesbia joined a farmer producer organization to help sell her crops. Just a year after she joined, TechnoServe partnered with this farmer producer organization

When Lesbia’s husband still managed their crops, they earned about $4 per day. After working with TechnoServe, their farm makes nearly $40 per day now. 

“I feel that everything has improved, little by little. We believe that the future of new generations will improve through agriculture. We have access to better food and health services. I bought more land, better supplies, and opened my own basic necessities store.”

Lesbia Ludia Juárez

An Entrepreneur Rebuilds His Business Dreams

Oriyomi Adedoyin, the owner of KojeOriginals, participated in the MSME Survival and Recovery Program in Nigeria.

Oriyomi Adedoyin hung up the phone and rushed out to the complex where his business, KojeOriginals, was located. He had to see it for himself. The manager of the complex had called to tell him the awful news – the clothing store that he had worked so hard to establish had been destroyed. It was a difficult time for many, as the COVID-19 pandemic had just begun. He had been optimistic that business would pick back up. But his entrepreneurial spirit wavered when he saw the damage that had been done to his showroom. 

Distraught for a few months, Oriyomi’s mood changed when he saw a video about a TechnoServe program helping small business owners recover from recent economic shocks. He worked to develop a business growth plan, including financial planning and forecasting, SWOT analyses, competitive landscaping, budgeting, leadership, customer engagement, employee engagement, and more. After joining the program and working hard to apply his new knowledge, Oriyomi moved the location of his showroom to a more affordable area. Soon, KojeOriginals’ monthly orders increased by 15%; monthly revenues increased by 20% ; and Oriyomi was able to hire three full-time employees. Today, KojeOriginals has four full-time staff and one part-time employee–and Oriyomi dreams of his brand becoming a household name. 

“I really want to do a lot of giving back to people.”

Oriyomi Adedoyin

Today, you can give back too so that men and women around the world receive the opportunities they need to become successful. Please give today.