How GSI works with OM-ers and OM Fields
From Jan 2022, GSI handed over to OM Africa Area its small business loans program. If you are an OM-er from Africa Area who wishes to start a small business-as-mission, please refer to the Application Process below.
Other than this small business loans program run by Africa Area for Africa Area, from Jan 2022 GSI no longer has any new initiatives. We however continue to evaluate existing projects and to share what we have learned.
Application Process for the Africa Small Business Loans Program
If you are an OM-er in Africa Area and would like funding and help with your small business, please submit your application to Africa Area (firstname.lastname@example.org) through your Field Leader.
Your application should include the following information:
- What is your proposed business? Including, what is your product or service? Where will the business be located? Who will be your customers? Who will help you run your business?
- Why do you want to do this business and how will it help you do God's work? For example, will it help support your family? How will it help you sustain your ministry for the long-term? How does it give you opportunities to build relationships, sow the Gospel and disciple others?
- Provide financial numbers: Details of what goes into the total start-up cost (i.e., one-time costs such as purchase of equipment and furniture, business registration), expected income and how you arrive at that number (e.g., number of products sold per week), estimated expenses (including rent, cost of sales such as cost of raw materials or stock, maintenance of equipment or premises, cleaning, utilities, transport, salaries, etc.)
- Explain why you think your business will work, for example, what business experience or training do you have? What market research have you done, i.e., how do you know that people will want your product or services? What help can you expect to get from others? What is your marketing plan, i.e., how will people know how to come to you for your business?
- Describe how your business will be missional. For example, how will you share the Gospel with your customers, employees, or vendors, and how will you bless the local community with your business? If you have other ministry responsibilities, how will you ensure that the business will not distract you from them?
- Confirm that the business you propose has the support of your Field Leader and fits into the vision and mission of your field.
How GSI Funds Businesses
- Starting Small -- Wherever possible, GSI will be looking to start on a small scale, e.g., for a retail business start running it small-scale from your home before renting a shop. This tests the idea, gives OM the opportunity to learn and gain experience before expanding or taking on bigger demands, and avoids big disappointments.
- Shared Contribution -- GSI does not provide 100% funding except in exceptional cases. OM Fields and OM-ers are expected to contribute their own resources and fund-raising efforts.
- Loans -- GSI's business funding is by way of interest-free loan. Successful enterprises should give back so that other global south initiatives can benefit.
- Start-Up Costs, not Operating Expenses -- GSI provides funding for Start-up expenses or Expansion costs in the case of existing businesses, i.e., one-off expenses. GSI does not fund ongoing, recurring Operating Expenses unless necessary for the business to be self-sufficient, and no more than 3-6 months' operating expenses.
- Staging -- The funding may be released in part, i.e., in stages over time, as progress is made and as milestones are achieved.
- Last Funder for Capital -- Where funding is for large set-up capital costs, e.g., purchasing land or property, we are usually the last funder, i.e., we will release our funds only when all the rest of the funding has been raised.
- Return of un-used funds -- Where any GSI funding is not used for the stated purposes, it must be returned to GSI.
- GSI does not fund personal support costs.