June || Reflecting on the First Half of 2014

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The Good.  As Quarter 2 of 2014 came to a close we did a lot of reflecting and planning as a staff, culminating with our Quarterly Staff Meeting. Our biggest successes this year have been with opening new locations, training in large numbers, and surpassing our sales goals. We are proud of all that we’ve done so far and are excited to see what we can accomplish in the second half of the year. We were lucky to have the help of two amazing Summer Fellows in June, Conor Kelly and Breanna Chandler.  Conor designed our annual report before arriving in Nairobi and during his time with us designed a new catalog with new products including cell phones, refrigerators, and new cookstoves. Breanna helped develop new training manuals for on-boarding, sales and business training, train the trainer and leadership training. A big THANK YOU to Conor and Breanna for their hard work and dedication.

The Challenges. This year our biggest challenges have been around job creation and securing better terms with our suppliers as we grow. In the spirit of transparency, we decided to publish the actual figures for the number of jobs we have created and the number of youth trained to give some context to the percentages we have been tracking so far. While in many months our job creation numbers were slightly lower than the goals we set for ourselves, our overall number to date (249) is still on track. While we are proud of this, we are still working hard to achieve more consistent jobs created numbers on a monthly basis. With our suppliers, we are working closely with them to secure a minimum of 30-day credit terms and consignment where possible. This helps us to get more products to our four locations and out into the field, where they can be marketed and sold. Without better terms, there may be bottlenecks with product supply, and therefore product sales, which is bad for us and for our suppliers.