Around half of the people in the Ivory Coast live on less than $2 a day.
The socio-political crisis in 2010-2011 only worsened the situation for people like Gbra and her family who lost everything amidst the fighting. Rebels looted and occupied their house, forcing the family to flee.
Their church intervened and found them a place to live and introduced Gbra to a women’s group in the microfinance program of our LCI partner INSHEV (Institute for Holistic Health – Hope, and Life).
She participated in training sessions, learned how to start and run a biblically-based business, and was inspired by the other women in her group who had become entrepreneurs.
Gbra started a used clothing business after receiving her first loan of $200 from INSHEV.
Through continued access to capital and mentoring support, she has been able to grow her business and supplement their family income during this difficult time – providing food and clothing, paying the bills, and covering school fees for her children.
With increasing financial security and stability in her business, Gbra resolved to do more to serve her neighbors still recovering from the crisis.
She started a savings group and helped organize a community prayer time for women from various religious backgrounds, including Islam.
Because of Gbra’s success, her counsel is often sought out and she now coaches other women through the process of starting a business.
Reflecting on the past few years – from losing their home, struggling to make ends meet, and now becoming a business woman and mentor to others – Gbra is filled with gratitude.
She thanks God for the loans, training, mentoring, and encouragement which enabled her to start a successful business, provide for her family, and build new relationships with other women.
Gbra is one of 250 unique and talented women we serve in Cote d’Ivoire. As Cote d’Ivoire is one of most difficult places in the world to be a woman, our vision is to help even more women have access to the resources necessary to grow small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that create jobs and help whole communities flourish.
By using business as a ministry, we are offering hope and demonstrating God’s great love to the people of Cote d’Ivoire.