Building homes, sending children to school through coffee

11 August 2015
ITC News
Read how one Kenyan woman entrepreneur supported nine of her siblings by working in coffee.

Anne Chepkoech represents three women’s coffee groups in Kenya. Read – in her own words – how becoming an entrepreneur in the coffee business improved her life and the lives of her parents and nine siblings.

Why did you become an entrepreneur?

I come from a farming community. My parents grew both tea and coffee and I went to school from the proceeds of these farming commodities. It is amazing when you see that farmers are able to send their children to school through their hard work!

How has it changed your life and the lives of people around you?

I’m a firstborn in a family of 10. After going to school and getting myself a job, I’ve been able to take all my siblings to school. Six of them have gone through universities and have been employed. They have good jobs. The last one just cleared fourth form and is expecting to attend a university because she was the top student in the district.

Because I became an entrepreneur, I was able to support my parents and to build them a better house. They had a semi-permanent house made of wood, but from the money I earned, I was able to build a permanent brick house for them with four bedrooms and a water tank, which accumulates up to 60,000 litres during heavy rains, so they never have to go to the river. They are happier than they were before.

What would you like others to know?

I would like to work and trade with women because I feel that women can make a difference. When you educate one woman, you more or less have educated the whole family.