Photo: Geoff Crawford/Tearfund
Photo: Geoff Crawford/Tearfund


Many people dream of new ways to earn a living or make more money. Maybe you think that you have a skill that you could share with others – this could be a product you can make or a service you can provide. How can you convert a good idea into a successful business? 

Each year many good ideas fail because people do not take time to plan before they begin. The key to a successful business is getting the basics right. It is not difficult to learn the basics but people need to be taught them. Training and advice can help people avoid simple, but time-consuming mistakes. 

Micro-enterprise is important in reducing global poverty; lifting individuals out of poverty and enabling them to improve the life of their family, while also improving the economy of their country.  

The centre pages give valuable guidelines on how to plan before setting up your business. There are articles about using profits (page 10), the place of microfinance (page 12), the importance of training and accompaniment (page 4) and empowering women in business (page 16). 

Hopefully these articles will help you to think and plan before starting a new business yourself or helping others. We would love to hear from you if Footsteps has helped start up a business.  

I am sad to announce that Judy Mondon and Sarah Carter, who have been the Footsteps administrators for the past 10 years, have left Tearfund. They managed the Footsteps mailing list and answered your queries. I would like to thank them on behalf of Footsteps readers, the editorial committee and Tearfund for all their hard work. They will be greatly missed. 

The next issue will celebrate the 20th birthday of Footsteps. We will look at how Footsteps and the world have changed over the past 20 years and will also look forward to challenges in the future. The following issue will focus on Natural Resources.   

Please find below articles from Footsteps issue 80 in html.

To download a pdf version of Footsteps issue 80, please click here (403KB).

  • Applying a ‘livelihoods lens’ to your HIV programmes

    by Kara Greenblott and Ari Clowney  Helping vulnerable people to protect, improve and expand their livelihoods will lead to improved health and nutrition, education and, above all, wellbeing for their families and community. It is also a crucial step towards ensuring successful and sustainable HIV programmes. 

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  • Bible study: The parable of the talents

    The parable of the talents    Matthew 25:14-30  As a businessman and entrepreneur I am encouraged by the number of Jesus’ parables that are set in the context of business and include modern ideas such as ‘Return on Investment’ (ROI). But then it is not surprising: Jesus spent most of his adult life as a businessman. As the oldest son in the family business he was not just making things, but dealing with customers and suppliers. 

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  • Empowering women in micro-enterprise

    by Rina Teeuwen    Afghanistan has gone through a time of turmoil. The civil war has resulted in many people having to flee their homes and an increase in crime, drug addiction, oppression and unemployment. The people who are best placed  to transform the lives of women in this situation are the Afghan women  themselves.   

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  • Letters

    Developing a health project I am the manager of a pilot community project we are trying to set up in Angola with Save the Children Angola. This project is based initially in one town, where there are an esti mated 41,600 children under five years old.

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  • Making the figures add up

    Compiled by Rebecca Dennis  For a business to succeed, ‘income’ (money coming in) must be more than ‘expenditure’ (money going out). It is a simple principle that is easily overlooked. In this article we will briefl y consider the key points to remember when running a business. 

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  • Micro-finance programme

    by Elgin Saha  Micro-finance is one of the most powerful tools that can be used to address global poverty. It builds self-esteem in the individual and self-sufficiency in those receiving financial services. Micro-finance works closely alongside other development interventions, such as health, nutrition, democracy and education, and offers support and encouragement. 

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  • Resources

    PILLARS - Credit and loans for small businesses This PILLARS Guide encourages good practice in recordkeeping, planning and maintaining savings and credit groups. Through discussions and Bible studies it aims to give people an understanding of a variety of ways of obtaining either credit or loans and establishing good practice in record keeping and planning. This Guide should be used to study the issues involved before establishing either informal savings or credit groups or obtaining loans ...

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  • Starting your own business

    Businesses are important in improving economic and technical development, and creating wealth and jobs. They play a central role in poverty reduction. But, how do people without access to funds, training and resources break into the highly competitive world of business? Micro-enterprise (also known as small business) enables people to generate an income by starting and growing their own small business. Many of the businesses start as part-time or homebased businesses and, in time, they can ...

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  • The entrepreneurial cycle

    by Mike Clargo. For many people, paid employment is not an option and their only alternative to depending on charity is self-generated income. In some places people can grow and farm almost everything they need, but in most situations people need income to buy things that they cannot grow or make, such as medicines, clothing and school equipment.

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  • The importance of training and accompaniment

    by Mija den Hartog  ‘I started a business for the first time in 1990. Before that I often went to the city to sell vegetables. When I went there I saw a lot of people coming from their villages buying goods in kiosks (small shops) owned by non-Papuan people [Papuans are one of the main and minor people groups in Indonesia.]. I had an idea that I could have a kiosk like this in my own village and make as much money as these people in the city. I saved up some money and set up a kiosk. ...

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  • Using profits to change lives

    by Céline Romera  Since 2000, Peru has experienced ongoing economic growth, which has brought success but also social challenges to the country. Between 1980 and 2000 Peru faced internal armed confl ict that led to high levels of migration from the southern highlands towards Lima, the capital city. As a result of this movement, many people from the region of Ayacucho settled in the southern edges of Lima in hope of a better life. This massive wave of migration high lighted inequalities ...

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