KIRYANDONGO, Uganda — The small shop where Charles Gwokajja sells cooking oil, soaps, tea, and sweet treats sits an hour from the main road, down a muddy pothole-filled lane lined with maize fields. At this time last year, he was a subsistence farmer, struggling to cover basic family expenses. Now he and his store’s two co-owners have enough income to buy medicine when someone is sick, and even to save money.
The shop began in his home, but with a $100 grant to him and two women in his community, the trio graduated to a storefront in a more central location in the community. Despite ups and downs in prices and sales, the business is growing and profitable, bringing in about 15,000 Ugandan shillings surplus (about $4.17) a week.
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