When she was younger, Anne showed promise in school and finished high school earlier than the average American teenager. Despite this, as an adult Anne's options were limited. She and her husband supported their family of five on a single income stream from his small tailoring business. Every shilling was spent on necessities without room for saving or investments to grow their income. Their credit history with the local commercial bank was poor so accessing business loans was impossible.
Anne joined her local Five Talents Trust Group in August 2013 on the recommendation of a close family friend. At first, Anne's savings ranged between ksh 300-ksh 350 (about $3) a month. This was the few small coins she could spare after her daily visit to the market.
After a number of months of saving and business training, Anne was invited to take a loan of ksh 5,000 ($50) from the group's pooled savings which she used to buy in a small flock of free-range chicks. By repaying this loan, Anne unlocked a much larger loan of 60,000 ksh ($600) which went towards renting a small plot of land and purchasing a larger flock of chicks consisting of both layers and broilers for eating. When we visited her in late 2015, business was going well. Anne and her husband had completed construction of their new house, and all of her three children were attending school.
Anne proudly told us 'Being in the group made me more assertive to grow from a housewife and help generate an income to support my husband. I have learned that savings regardless of how little can boost you a lot in the future and that coming together as a community can help you go far. I am proud of my growth and bringing change to my life.'
Reporting by Five Talents Kenya and Five Talents UK with Adam Dickens Photography.