A pharmacist and his wife successfully ran Neema Pharmacy and Chemists in Embu, a large central Kenyan city surrounded by farms. The wife had grown up in a nearby farming village and saw how difficult some of her neighbors’ lives were, particularly grandparents raising orphaned grandchildren. So she worked with the local Kenyan agricultural station to help train these multi-generational families to build beehives. Over time, the harvested honey was in need of a market so the wife started working with her husband and local supermarkets to sell the honey products.
TechnoServe became involved with the Neema Pharmacy and Canan Gardens honey products through the Upscaling program
which worked with financial institutions and business consultants to help grow qualified micro-entrepreneurs into thriving larger businesses that would employ many more people. Over time, the Upscaling team guided the husband and wife to separate the different businesses’ accounts to be able to track each correctly, diversify the products and find new ways to promote their honey-based products. They began producing and selling honey-flavor cough drops and syrup as well as branded honey to sell retail.
Thus, not only were many poor rural families able to supplement their income through caring for beehives and selling the honey, but the pharmacist and his wife had expanded their own staff and livelihoods, and brought healthy products to their community.