Ending Poverty One Chicken at a Time: The Power of Entrepreneurs
The importance of JOHUD’s microcredit programs lie in their ability to improve the wellbeing of individuals and the wider community at little to no cost. The only way that this is ever possible is due to the dedication and talent of many of the Jordanians that use the service.
Khaled(*) is a government employee living with his family of 7 in Mafraq. For years, Khaled had kept chickens in a shed next to his home, selling eggs and chickens for profit in order to supplement his modest income. Although the operation seemed simple at first glance, Khaled had bigger plans for his home-grown industry. Like most Jordanians in his situation, he was unlikely to ever have the money spare to invest in his ideas and convictions, a potential loss for his family and community.
However, JOHUD has provided an option for all entrepreneurs living in poverty-stricken communities that would otherwise be unable to access credit. Khaled was able to approach the microfinance component of JOHUD’s poverty alleviation program for a small 700JD loan, helping him purchase extra feed to expand the business and invest in medical supplies to keep his stock healthy.
This initial loan has since been repaid and the project has grown considerably. With healthier chickens (and more of them), Khaled has been able to improve the quality of life for his family and draw a small income with which to build a pension for his retirement. His community has also benefited from the availability of locally-produced eggs and chickens.
Whilst speaking to Khaled now, it is easy to identify the origins of the success of the project; the enthusiasm and knowledge of the man himself. After repaying the first loan, he plans to apply for a second, and redesign the shed’s layout so as to create more rooms for the chickens. He also has plans to introduce new breeds and types and diversify the products he has on offer. For JOHUD, finding entrepreneurs like Khaled is the key to reducing poverty in a sustainable way; for a small repayable loan, talented individuals can do the work themselves.
*All names have been changed to protect the family’s confidentiality