What came first, the chicken or the egg? To Eggpreneurs it doesn’t matter what came first, what they do know is that the egg has economic power to transform their lives for good. While up to 70% of rural Kenyans are engaged in subsistence agriculture as their principle livelihood, the Eggpreneur Initiative is leveraging this statistic to create a local solution to a generational problem. Eggpreneur creates opportunities for women to develop their livelihood through the use of micro-egg production using a sustainable business model to improve household income in the poorest regions of Kenya. In our second year of operation we have started realizing this Eggpreneur vision. The Eggpreneurs are improving their standard of living, meeting and exceeding their basic household and food security needs while contributing to the larger goal of community building.
“The Power of an Egg… a sustainable solution to fighting poverty and malnutrition in remote rural communities.” Founder Matt Dickson
By March 1st, 2016, every Eggpreneur had her chicken coop ready and full with 150 active pullets. Each woman was also prepared with poultry skills and layers feed. With great anticipation, they were ready to begin the journey of becoming true Egg farmers and successful business women.
The eggs!!!! The second week of March was received with joy and excitement by all Eggpreneurs as they began to collect eggs from their flocks. We provided the women with the plastic egg trays and egg collecting baskets to carry the eggs to the Eggpreneur Distribution Center. By the end of March, Eggpreneurs had collected 36,000 eggs; the laying efficiency rose from 20% to 75% during the first two months of laying. The leading Eggpreneur Lady earned $44 in the first month of her production. This is great progress towards achieving our Eggpreneur vision, of changing lives one family at a time
Challenges and Solutions
We’re striving to create new and innovative ways to address daily challenges. Our immediate challenges have been: 1) High demand for eggs- We cannot satisfy our customers demand with the current production. By July, when our second flock of 4500 chicks will start laying, we will be able to meet the demands we are receiving every day by industries. 2) Bacterial DiseasesOur egg shortage was partly due to the adverse effects of coccidiosis disease (caused by wet litter) acquired by some pullets. Upon consultation with our veterinarian, the pullets were treated and are currently regaining their weight and increasing egg production.
We’ve managed to implement dry grass and dry beans stack as reliable and affordable litter material for chicken coops rather than wood shaving to keep the chicken coop dry at all times.
In the Marketplace
In the last month we have realized that our Eggpreneur fresh eggs are doing very well in the marketplace due the quality of our eggs and the consistency of our customer service. We are supplying our eggs to four and two star hotels and the largest Supermarket/store chain in Machakos county. In the month of April we were privileged to receive our Eggpreneur sponsor and supporter from Peterborough, Ontario, Canada! The couple came to visit Eggpreneur and witnessed first-hand the impact of Eggpreneur Initia tive. They had a wonderful time interacting, asking questions of women Eggpreneurs and took pictures with the children who have been eating eggs every day (which was rare for them before their mothers became Eggpreneurs!).
Future goals and projects:
- We hope to employ 40 new Women Eggpreneurs (our 2nd flock) by July 2016.
- Complete Poultry Training sessions followed by the construction of chicken coops and distribution of pullets.
- Seek partnerships and collaboration with international companies, groups and individuals within the poultry industry to support us in scaling up the project to reach more families
- Share more information and data with our stakeholders, supporters and volunteers to learn and improve the project.
In May, Matt was able to present the Eggpreneur project to Echoing Green in New York City. Echoing Green is an agency that supports and helps social entrepreneurs. Eggpreneur was 1 of 19 finalists to compete to receive financial and educational awards from an original pool of more than 2700 projects. See the website!
As we approach distribution of the second flock of pullets by end of June and complete the training sessions, we invite you to be part of this noble initiative with a one-time or continuous donation by:
1. Mail: Cheques can be mailed to: Lakeside HOPE House, 75 Norfolk Street, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, N1H 2W6 (Memo: “The Eggpreneur Project” )
2. Online through Canada Helps at: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/cha rities/lakeside-hope-house NOTE: Please select “The Eggpreneur Project” from the drop down menu to ensure the funds are directed to Eggpreneur.
A charitable tax receipt will be issued for donations over $25. Lakeside Hope House will forward your donations directly to The Eggpreneur Project in Kenya. Thank you for your support!
With love from Kenya,