Peer Sourcing – Empowering Micro Entrepreneurs
A fruit vendor in Qayumabad met a fellow fruit vendor from Mandi (wholesale market) and shared his expenses of buying fruits and selling them ahead. The fruit vendor from Mandi told him how heap he bought fruits and urged him to get his stock from the Mandi too. The next day he took the Qayumabad’s vendor to Mandi, introduced him to people around and helped him buy fruits on a cheaper price. This vendor is now very happy as he save Rs500 to Rs600 on an average per day.
Similarly, a street cobbler used to sit on a roadside in Qayumabad to mend shoes and hoped to have a small shop one day so that he can scale up his business. A vegetable vendor informed him of a shop in his area that is available for rent. The cobbler now seeks to get that shop and start his business afresh with a roof over his head.
This is the reason for why what and how for all the queries related to 9Others dinner. It’s an incredible platform for micro entrepreneurs to come together, mingle with like minded people, share their problems and benefit from each others’ experiences and ideas. It provides solutions to their problems and often gives them opportunities they have been looking for. This engagement help produce a network of entrepreneurs empowering their businesses with each other’s help and assistance. Peace Through Prosperity is changing lives of micro entrepreneurs in Pakistan and their success stories can be viewed on
Due to the success of the first 9Others dinner in Qayumabad, Peace Through Prosperity recently hosted another dinner in Korangi 2 bringing a group of cobblers and street vendors together to help each other build a better business model. Similar to the first one, the guests were rather bewildered by the concept of networking for the growth of their business. This is a group of people who spend 14 to 15 hours per day at work, on the streets, trying to meet ends without realizing the importance of peer sourcing solutions for their business related problems. So to make them understand new concepts of business and adopt them in their routine is the biggest challenge. They are disillusioned and skeptic; do not trust the new ideas until you chalk out the entire feasibility report for them and help them mold into the new framework.
In our recent 9Others dinner, a man stood up in the middle of the event and announced that his business is ruined and he is completely finished. He was a samosa vendor but his work suffered such losses in the past few months that he had no money at all. His survival had become a huge question mark as well. It was then that everyone at the dinner decided to help this fellow in need financially so everyone contributed his share to make things better for the samosa vendor. Some gave Rs500 and some Rs1000. By the end of it, he had around Rs10,000 in his hands but he refused to take the money. He felt insulted to ask for financial help from his friends who themselves don’t earn hefty amounts. But he needed help and everyone wanted to share his pain.
Another member from the group, Rasheed, then offered another solution. He was a fruit vendor who used to bring fruits from the Mandi and sell it in the bazaar. He proposed that he will give this man fruits worth Rs20,000 on his responsibility and the man can have a fruit cart instead. Rasheed shared his idea that since Ramadan is just around the corner, fruit business will help him stand on his feet once again. The profits this man would earn daily, he can keep his share and return a fixed amount to Rasheed on a daily basis to get rid off his loan of Rs20,000. This way the man can start a new business and would not even feel it was due to some help from a fellow vendor. This is what 9Others did for him. It not only helped him but also motivated other members to help each other and benefit their own business.
Another highlight of 9Others dinner was the acceptance of the new fruit and vegetable vendors by the old ones. In Korangi 2, there was a monopoly of some old vendors who did not allow anyone new to share their space and invade their business. Those old vendors along with the new ones were invited to the dinner where they heard each other and became friends. Because of this new bond, the old vendors allowed some space to the new ones making way for them.
The exchange of ideas between different micro entrepreneurs also helped them come to a conclusion to move around during Ramadan in order to get maximum sale as the people prefer to stay home during fasts and would really make use of the opportunity of purchasing fruits at their doorsteps.
These were the people who did not know each other before the dinner but this small gathering compelled them to exchange mobile numbers to seek support when needed. A very sweet example emerged out of one of the dinners when a fruit vendor had a gathering at his place in celebration of his child’s first birthday. He invited a lot of people and had to arrange for their snacks. He called a samosa/roll vendor whom he had met at 9Others dinner and gave him the order for a huge gathering. This helped the samosa vendor in his business and the fruit seller got snacks on his doorstep at the right time by just making a phone call.
9Others dinner help the people in ways they don’t even realize initially but in the long run, they end up saving money. The foremost thing we instill in them is the fact that we would not help them financially and by coming to these dinners or attending our mini-MBA programs, they will not get any monetary benefits from us. We come to us explaining how poor their condition and bad their business is but we make them understand that they don’t need our help. All they need is some management skills that will help them go a long way. So, we just try to aware them of their weaknesses and assist them in making conscious decisions for a better and brighter future.
Every business needs trust and in order to help them flourish, we needed to build a relationship of friendship and trust too. We give them enough incentives to listen to us and then they are convinced to implement our teachings in their daily lives. This is the success of 9Others dinners when these micro entrepreneurs meet, eat, share their grief, gain from experiences and embark on a path of better employment opportunities.
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