Sitting Down with Shivia
We sat down for a quick chat with Founder and CEO of Shivia, Olly Donnelly, to talk about what social change they were able to make with TFN’s support.
Shivia empowers low income families in rural India to develop small enterprises that will allow them to earn a regular income. Shivia provides women with a poultry toolkit, which allows households to increase their income by 30% through the sale of eggs.
Shivia pitched at TFN London in 2016 and at the Strategic Funding Group in 2017. 18 months later, Olly reflects on that experience: “You only get six minutes to pitch your project, as a non-profit it really makes you cut to the heart of what you are doing and what you want to achieve, the experience really helped us in our later fundraising.”
They used their funding to run a pilot project to empower their female poultry farmers to become self-sustaining through setting up local entrepreneur groups so they can source the toolkit parts (chicks, feed, vaccinations and medicines) on their own and sell their chickens and eggs further afield for higher prices. Through increased confidence and skills, the women are starting other small businesses as well. Olly told us: “We’re always trying to make our beneficiaries independent of us. Our objective was to reach 500 farmers through the pilot, but we exceeded our expectations, reaching 530 farmers and 3,180 indirect beneficiaries.”
The project has changed many lives, like Tinku’s. With the extra income she earned from selling eggs and chickens, Tinku was able to pay for additional schooling for her 2 teenage children. Aside from raising chickens, Tinku also used her newfound skills to start a second micro-enterprise buying inexpensive saris from a local wholesaler and selling them for a small profit in her village.
“TFN funding allowed us to take a risk with our pilot project and it paid off, the farmers now have a business forever, making them self-sufficient. It’s changed the way we operate” Olly concludes.