Franchise model provides women with more income and time

Intervention Case Story |  MSE System

Birtukan is a 27-year-old woman who moved to Addis Ababa in search of a better life. But it was not all she dreamed. The work she found as a housemaid was difficult and subjected her to sexual harassment. Unable to bear the situation, she rented a small room on her own and found unsecured work as a part-time cook and cleaner in different households while she searched for other work.

Birtukan had registered as a jobseeker in her residence woreda, and it was through the woreda that she learned about an opportunity with Muday Injera. The opportunity involved being grouped with other women to start an injera business as a micro-franchise with Fresh and Green PLC, Muday charity organisation’s business wing. She leapt at the opportunity.

Fast forward two years and Birtukan is earning a better income than in her previous jobs, working six hours a day. She explained:

“After starting this business with Muday Injera, I make a better income and have resumed my education because I have better time freedom now. My savings are also becoming better, and I help my family financially. More than all, my current work helps me develop more confidence to take on life and add on other responsibilities.”

Birtukan has also started a business selling fried potatoes in her spare time by teaming up with a friend. She claims she is stronger now because she went through challenges and came out on the other side. She is a visionary who aspires to a better life for herself and others. She further explained:

“I want to continue with the injera business as a group, if not on my own, and hire more women to give them the opportunity I have had.”

Birtukan is part of one of 12 groups provided with franchise licenses by Muday Injera thus far, and the organisation is working on licensing more groups.

In order to start their franchise business, the groups needed to secure a trade license, which was difficult as it required identification that the women didn’t have and didn’t meet the requirements to obtain. To address this constraint, LIWAY provided technical assistance to the implementing partner to leverage the emerging opportunity related to national IDs and provide support to the target groups to fulfil the requirements and mobilise them to access national IDs.

Being a franchisee provides the groups with several benefits. For example, the Muday name helps them penetrate the market, which was previously challenging, particularly when they first started. The groups sell to different market outlets such as restaurants, schools, shops, and Muday itself.

The groups also previously found it difficult to secure credit for the purchase of raw materials such as teff. However, following the franchise certification with Muday, they can take a loan from Muday when they require capital for their business. The Muday name and franchisee certificate also create trust with teff suppliers – if the groups need more teff and are short of capital, they can take it on credit and pay after they sell the injera.

Before starting the franchise business, most of the women didn’t earn sufficient income to cover expenses. Similar to Birtukan, they now earn better income with their groups, which produce an average of 5,500 injera per day and have market outlets to drive sales. They also say they have time freedom and flexible working hours, which enables them to accomplish other tasks as they desire. Several of the groups plan to hire more people to broaden their business and expand their market reach by selling injera out of a vehicle for walk-in customers and establishing shops in more accessible areas.

The franchise model is part of LIWAY’s ‘Outsourcing for MSEs’ intervention, which is designed to create jobs and increase income for women-owned MSEs through engaging unemployed and/or under-employed women and providing them with secured shared space, technical and business training, including leadership skills, pre-financing, supply management, and secured markets. The intervention is being implemented in partnership with Muday, through its business wing Fresh and Green PLC. To date, 1,004 women have been provided with the opportunity to work with Muday injera to increase their income.