Hatching A Generation of Eggpreneurs In Rural Kenya
Bill Gates doesn’t need convincing about the transformative power of chickens. “Just about anyone who’s living in extreme poverty is better off if they have chickens,” he wrote recently on his blog. And Matt Dickson doesn’t need convincing either. While Gates was in Lower Manhattan recently talking about his plan to alleviate poverty by giving away chickens, Dickson was in Kenya hatching Eggpreneur, an initiative that helps rural mothers sell eggs for a living.
Dickson identifies mothers of young children in rural Kenya who may not be getting all the nutrients they need, and then he persuades them to go into the egg business. He builds coops and furnishes them with 150 chickens of about 18 weeks of age.
When they start producing, the women keep about 2% of the eggs at home, with the rest going off to market. Eggpreneur, a nonprofit, then pays the women, minus the cost of cleaning and packaging the eggs and the original cost of birds.