Ampeha villagers are given an opportunity to create or expand their own business ideas, which they base on their knowledge of the needs and wants of the villagers and on the opportunities they see locally and in the surrounding communities.
Prospective entrepreneurs complete a basic business plan that includes their qualifications, why they think they’ll be successful, target customers, and start-up expenses. The chief and elders evaluate the plans then pass them on to Village Dreams directors in Accra who may approve, delay, or reject an application depending on the feasibility of the plan and the available funds.
If approved and funds are available, the business owner receives the start-up money they requested, and a mutually agreed upon payment schedule is establish. The payments are made into a village fund which will provide financial support for additional businesses.
First Village Business Ventures – Real Results
In 2013, two business ventures were funded, a small commercial chicken farm and a tailoring service. After a year of operation, both ventures made small profits. Currently, the chicken farm owners want to expand, adding laying hens to their operation. The tailors want to apply for a fancy-stitch machine and additional convertible (electric or manual modes) models for training more seamstresses to meet customer demands.
Current Village Business Ventures
Foodstuffs Buyer and Seller
Akosua wants to purchase the ingredients for making fufu, a West African type of Hawaiian poi, which is eaten daily. She will buy cassava, yam, and plantains in the village as they are plentiful, and sell them at the large market in the town of Nkawkaw. Since everyone in the region and the nation relies on those products as the base of their diet, she feels she can make a good profit by buying locally and marketing them in bulk for shipment to the large cities. She is determined to help her children advance beyond the grade 6 education she received.
Loan – US $530.00
Bismark Yaw Barimah Asomani,
Bismark is a landowner and an experienced grower of cocoa, a crop that thrives in the region. He wants to expand his business because the world demand for cocoa is great and growing, His clients are the Cocoa Marketing Board (CMB) representatives in the area of the village. Being experienced, he understands how to cope with fluctuating prices or the storing crops during the rainy season. With his profits he hopes to be able to build a house and better educate his children.
Loan – US $140.00
Abena Ofosuhene, Kenkey Producer
Abena makes this Ghanaian fermented maize dish, at her home. It is well known locally and in demand. She will use the funds to purchase more ingredients to expand her business to reach additional local people. She is a widow with eight children, dreaming of building a house and educating the children of her family.
Loan – US $250.00
Baker and Pastry Maker
Lucy wants to expand her existing bakery business. She makes meat pies, bread, and pastries. She has completed middle school, and she says her business will prosper because there is no real bakery in the area and because “I am honest, will keep proper records, and give priority to customers and their concerns. I will treat my employees well so as to be able to achieve the main aim of my business. I will also separate the affairs of the business from my own personal affairs.”
To expand successfully, Lucy needs a commercial gas oven and commercial supplies so that she can meet the demand for her pastries and bread. She is confident her business will grow, and she will be able to continue to expand and widen the clientele circle she serves.
Loan – US $1020.00
Emmanuel Kofi Oiredu, Farmer
Kofi is a farmer who grows cassava, maize, plantain and other produce. The market for his crops is the growing demand of commercial businesses – chop bars, food vendors, and poultry farmers in the large town of Nkawkaw. He and his family own plenty of land to expand, but he requires funds to hire additional laborers and purchase the seeds and starters to expand.
Loan – US $730.00
Afua Kyerewaa, Smoked Fish Vendor
Afua wants to increase her smoked fish sales to meet the growing demand locally and at the large market in the town of Nkawkaw. The smoking of fish enhances its flavor, prolongs its storage life and is a highly popular source of protein in Ghana. Afua has a reliable fresh fish supplier and many customers, and she is skilled in handling, smoking and transporting the processed fish.
Loan – US $400.00
Lamatu Salifu,Porridge Maker and Seller
Lamatu wants to expand her koko business to hungry villagers in nearby communities. Koko is a porridge, which made of maize and is the national breakfast of Ghana. She is already is a successful provider of tasty koko to people of Ampeha and feels her reputation will be a great advertisement. Though she has no formal education she understands the necessity of excellent hygiene in the preparation of food and of keeping of accurate accounts. If successful she will better be able to provide for her five children.
Loan – US $300.00
E.A. Danso, Distiller
Mr. Danso is in the distilling business, he wants to expand his production of akpeteshie, which is a local gin-like beverage. The funds he requests would be to purchase seedlings as he already owns the land needed to grow the additional palm trees. He believes expansion of his business will be immediately successful because there is a great demand for his product. At present the demand for purchasing his akpeteshie in bulk is much greater than he can supply. With his profits, he plans to further the education of his children so they can have a better future.