Backyard Businesses Empower Women in Mozambique
Argentina runs her supply business from her backyard in the outskirts of Maputo.
For Argentina Wamuse, a farmer in the outskirts of Maputo, Mozambique, her aspiration to sell agricultural supplies began when she learned how her cousin was successfully selling seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides to local farmers. As a savvy businesswoman, Argentina saw an opportunity to replicate her cousin’s success when she learned about the business competition program offered by the Livelihoods, Empowerment, and Development (LEAD) project, a BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities-funded, ACDI/VOCA-implemented program supporting community and economic development in Maputo province.
The LEAD project, in collaboration with local agricultural supply wholesaler TECAP, provided financing to entrepreneurs like Argentina for the creation of small-scale supply businesses. Interested applicants created business plans, with the most competitive and viable proposals receiving substantial co-financing assistance. Thanks to this program, so far 20 suppliers like Argentina have opened businesses in their backyards, providing farmers in the community with direct access to essential agricultural materials—saving considerable time and money by bringing supplies closer to home.
Argentina takes great pride in her work and her knowledge. She visits her customers’ plots to see their progress, and provides guidance on correct application and use of their purchases. During her visits, Argentina also instructs farmers on good agricultural practices, which she learned during trainings with TECAP.
Through this business opportunity, Argentina is building a three-bedroom house for her family, and has started to save money to send her children to university. Her success has also inspired her daughter and other children in her community, reminding them that anything is possible.
“My daughter tells me that she is proud of me because I raised her all by myself,” she says proudly.
Since 2013, the LEAD project has benefited over 2,000 smallholder farmers and supported over 40 entrepreneurs in Mozambique, turning their ideas and aspirations into successful small businesses.