Micro-Business Success: What it Means for Displaced Communities in Juba

Mary at her new microenterprise near Juba.

Mary at her new microenterprise near Juba.

Five Talents serves members of displaced communities in South Sudan with business skills training as well as access to community savings and loans. What does success look like in these communities? Consider Mary's story:

Developing a MicroBusiness

Mary is a mother of four children and lives in a displaced persons community on the outskirts of Juba. Growing up, Mary never had an opportunity for formal education. Having fled armed conflict in her village, Mary now struggles alongside her husband to provide for their children in the displaced community.

When Mary joined a Five Talents training program, she had never run a business before. “This program is good because one can know how to read and write and also plan for a good business”, she says.

As part of a community savings group, Mary learned financial and business management skills and gained access to secure savings and loans. Over time, Mary purchased pots, mugs, cooking and serving utensils, storage bins, and more. “My new business is selling tea”, Mary says.

Visitors receive a warm reception inside a displaced persons community in South Sudan.

Visitors receive a warm reception inside a displaced persons community in South Sudan.

Mary serves residents and visitors to her community and some of her most regular clients are local police officers.

“The program training helped me to survey and see who my customers  will be and it helped me to compete with other tea sellers.”

While Mary’s business income may be minimal by Western standards, it makes a world of difference to Mary’s family. “My success is that I can now pay school fees for my children. My family relationship has improved and my husband [sees] that this program is useful because I do provide for our needs and even my husband’s relatives are happy with the work I am doing.”

Before joining the program, Mary never attended church, but now she is a member of a local church. "I have learned how to pray and I ask God to show me what to do”, she says.

Learn more about the Journey of Hope and how entrepreneurs like Mary are bringing hope and opportunity to communities across South Sudan.