“There are no times we keep
our hands empty – we plant.”
Marion is a 49 year old mother of two whose family generates its income from farming fruits and vegetables, growing and harvesting tea, two dairy cows, two chickens, and several goats, as well as from Marion’s small businesses of four years selling groceries and clothing from a stall in a building she rents monthly in the center of her small town outside Limuru. Marion has one daughter in primary school and another who just graduated university. She hopes to soon find business picking up enough that she can afford to save with the local women’s sacco and procure a loan there with which she can invest anew in her small business in town. Marion’s goals are straightforward: “To work hard and go on to a higher height.” Yet her aspirations are also social. Marion is a profoundly relational kind of independent. “If I don’t have my children, all this work would be for what? I do it to have a family.”
Besides working as a farmer and running a small-scale trade business, what other financial decisions have Marion made to afford big expenses such as her daughters’ education?
by the numbers
Like Marion, Resilient Cultivators are mostly low-income, rural, married women with limited education who are mostly farmers. Approximately 7.4 million (25% of the Kenyan population) fall in this segment.
SOCIOECONOMIC (SES 1-2)
HIGH INCOME VOLATILITY
Because their income volatility is somewhat high, they work to smooth it out over the course of the week. They have confidence in their ability to pay their household bills, despite facing similar challenges with bills and similar emergencies to Kenyans as a whole. Their strong planning likely supports this confidence.
Financial Behavior & Attitudes
SAVINGS BEHAVIOR & ATTITUDES
The vast majority are frequent but moderately deliberate savers.
They have mobile money accounts but use them primarily for sending and receiving money. About two-thirds participate in financial group channels, and those that do most frequently use of them for saving—as do the third of the segment that hold accounts with formal financial institutions.
BORROWING BEHAVIOR & ATTITUDES
They are also very likely to borrow, but don’t do so frequently. Family is their most likely source of a loan.
Those using groups, friends, or mobile money to borrow do so more frequently.