Ma Ei Khaing’s Mobile Grocery

“The seller has arrived! Dry noodles, cheroot cigars, eggplant, tea leaves!” Every two days, her voice is heard throughout the community. Ma Ei Khaing, an entrepreneurial young woman from Ye Ka Daw, harnessed her energy and started a mobile grocery as an added income for her family.

Ma Ei Khaing has faced many personal struggles but is now happily married with two children. Their main income is from farming and producing bamboo strips for basket weaving. Their combined monthly salary is approximately $100. The local community elected Ma Ei Khaing to the village development committee, where she is actively involved with the Shanta partnership. She also participates in the Pig Farming Project and the Women’s Self-help Group, a savings group for women. Each month, Ma Ei Khaing saved a small percentage of her profits from selling bamboo strips and after two years, she felt confident in starting a small, mobile grocery business.

“Even if the profit is small, I can use the sales income to cover all kitchen expenses for the entire family. At first, I reasoned that I needed to do something with my profits because if I just kept it, it would be spent on all of my living expenses and would soon be gone, so I began investing that money in my business. And, when I first started investing, my principal was $100, but it is currently over $250. Every two or three days, I receive $22 in profits.”

She reinvests in the savings group regularly to continue seeing her money grow. It may be slow, but it is steady and now she is able to reinvest in her business as well as cover many household expenses. Her family’s monthly income has increased to about $150 from the addition of her mobile grocery business.

“Later, when things improve from the political instability, I intend to open a small grocery store and stock it with various items to sell,” She talked about her future intentions.

“And my Women’s Self-Help Saving Group intends to launch a small group business in the future using the funds that Shanta awarded our group and the money that the group saved. Thank you to staff members and Shanta for their support and advice during this tough time.”