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CAMFED Business Guides are young women in the CAMFED Association who have the skills and passion for enterprise, and experience of running successful businesses themselves.

Business Guides help their peers to start and grow successful businesses, so that they can create sustainable jobs for themselves and others, build a brighter future, and enable the next generation of children to thrive in school.

The interactive six month program combines training, peer mentoring and connects young women to markets and interest-free finance opportunities.

The Guides are supported by partners and District Business Committees (DBCs) – groups of female entrepreneurs, local government representatives, gender advocates, and business & community leaders – who build local-level support for young women’s entrepreneurship.

The trained Business Guides then deliver weekly workshops to small groups of female entrepreneurs, applying knowledge to their own business data or using real-life scenarios and case studies.  The sessions cover everything from business finance and marketing to customer service and business growth through technology.

 

Mwinji, CAMFED Association member and entrepreneur, Zambia

CAMFED Association member Mwinji, from Isoka district in Zambia, accessed business training and a loan. With her business expansion, she is able to support herself as well as providing two girls in her community with school uniforms, books and school fees.

Business Guides share opportunities in male-dominated sectors and amplify the stories of women who have succeeded in these spaces.

The Guides deliver skills and training sessions that explore how women can:

  • Balance multiple responsibilities
  • Access networks
  • Collaborate with other women for impact

The sessions offer opportunities to reflect on variables that affect women’s entrepreneurial success including:

  • Asset ownership
  • Decision-making power
  • Financial inclusion
  • Leadership

The Business Guide Program in numbers

  • 2K

    As of 2021, there are 2,001 active Business Guides working across Ghana, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania to help young women create sustainable livelihoods.

  • 30K

    Since the start of program, 29,590 women-led businesses have been supported to develop by CAMFED Business Guides.

  • 67K

    To date, 67,330 CAMFED Association entrepreneurs have started a business, bringing high-quality food, clothing, hygiene products and more to rural communities.

I feel good being a Business Guide because the program gives me confidence and the ability to explore other opportunities available for myself and the group of entrepreneurs I support.
Zeolia, CAMFED Association member and Business Guide, Tanzania
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Learning resources for women-led businesses

CAMFED Association members took the lead in working with stakeholders in each country to develop the learning resources to support young women’s business growth. This includes a training resource for Business Guides, as well as a Business Planner for the supported entrepreneurs. Resources are endorsed and supported by relevant government partners in each country, including enterprise agencies. Gender and women’s leadership are at the core of the learning resources, with practical topics covered including the importance of financial record-keeping, identifying new business opportunities, overcoming gendered barriers, and ethics.

 

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Peer-led digital learning

In direct response to restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, CAMFED Association entrepreneurs created e-learning videos for their peers, addressing different themes such as staying safe online, using technology for business growth, effective customer service and how to conduct a “SWOT analysis” of your business. These have been  widely shared across our network of young women leaders educated with CAMFED support.

Meet some of our expert Business Guides

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StoryTanzania

Zeolia

I am Zeolia, a CAMFED Association member and successful entrepreneur from Tanzania. I farm potatoes, keep pigs, and run an agroforestry business. I've trained as a CAMFED Business Guide to pass on my knowledge to other young rural women, and help create more opportunities in my community.

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StoryZimbabwe

Lucia

My name is Lucia, I was one of the first girls supported to go to school by CAMFED in Zimbabwe and I am plowing back the benefits of my education. I have many years of experience running a general store with my female partner, so I volunteer with CAMFED as a Business Guide, mentoring young women in business. 

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CAMFED partners with Fairtrade to scale up women-led businesses in Ghana

At the beginning of 2022, CAMFED announced a new partnership with the Fairtrade Foundation to certify women-led shea butter businesses in Northern Ghana.

Obtaining Fairtrade certification is a fantastic opportunity for  young women entrepreneurs to meet growing commercial demand for shea butter and access exciting new business opportunities.

Learn about the patnership

News and stories

Meet some of our tenacious sisters in the CAMFED Association who are creating jobs, opportunity and tackling poverty through entrepreneurship

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Enterprise development

We are dedicated to improving the futures of young women beyond the classroom through youth enterprise. Generating an income not only supports young women’s economic independence and the prospects for their families; it enables them to expand their reach as activists and philanthropists.

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NewsZambia

Lisa from Zambia wins televised People’s Budget Competition 2022

CAMFED Association member and gender equality activist Lisa Kandanda sets out spending priorities for the Zambian nation.

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Young women entrepreneurs in the spotlight on Citi TV Ghana

In this regular monthly spotlight, CAMFED Association members from Ghana share their stories from secondary school to business success on Citi TV, Ghana. 

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BlogTanzania

“I have been famous since I started doing this business!” Meet our CAMFED Association Beekeepers

In this blog, CAMFED Tanzania Program Manager, Anna Sawaki, speaks to three enterprising young women who are selling honey.  

Mariam-Mariamu-Salehe-Juma-865969-CAMA-entrepreneur-Shinyanga-TZ-February-2022_IMG_20220223_134354

StoryTanzania

Mariam

My hairdressing business is doing very well and keeps growing. I have employed three people, including one other CAMFED Association member, and I have formally registered my business with the Tanzania Revenue Authority.

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StoryGhana

Mabruka

Getting into entrepreneurship also meant I could pursue something I was really passionate about. I started my groundnut processing business, called Influx Groundnuts Products, in January 2019.

Martha-Fanny-Gaisie-770223-CAMA-entrepreneur-Citi-TV-GH-January-2022

StoryGhana

Martha

At my business we produce oyster mushrooms. I have three women and four men working for me. I have trained them in all aspects of the business from preparation of the compost to bagging the mushrooms. I’m proud to be able to support women to earn something to support their lives.

Caroline Domonaa-ngmen Dari-796885-CAMA-Beekeeper-with-Beehives-GH-May-2022

StoryGhana

Caroline

I started my business in 2021 after I found out that honey bees are responsible for pollinating 70% of crops and are vital to human existence. I started out with three hives. Now my business has expanded to 27 hives and I have four team members who are responsible for the safety and development of the farm and I also employ over 10 casual workers.

Thank you to our generous recent donors

Together we are breaking the cycle of poverty

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Erin Connors $250

Judith Barlow $500

Joel Mandel $13

Reisa Mukamal $100

Stephen Watkins £25

Roni Grossman $1800

Diana Maxwell $50

Ewa Yang $100

Scott MacLeod $500

Arba Kenner $25

Toni Wilder Pate $13

Jane Lambert £10

Mark Lessner $25

Robin Rankin $100

Gregory White $200