Beating the Odds During COVID-19

Eugénie Kabeya became a FINCA customer in 2003 and has built her business of sewing women’s clothes with a mix of grit and entrepreneurial spirit—and loans from FINCA DR Congo.

In the first month of the pandemic, Eugénie lost 70 percent of her monthly revenue and could only retain five of the 12 employees she had.

Pivoting to Stay in Business

When the manager of the local FINCA branch encouraged Eugénie to make masks to compensate her business losses, Ms. Kabeya jumped into action. Through word-of-mouth, she received orders from her customers as well as associations and small enterprises. With these quick sales, she was soon able to call two employees back to work to support making masks.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Eugénie Kabeya has pivoted her sewing business in DR Congo to producing masks, allowing her to continue employing people.

For Eugénie, it was one of her most gratifying moments.

I’m doing business and helping people protect themselves from the pandemic. And my prices are very affordable ($0.65 – $1.3) to people in my town.

“COVID-19 has taught me a different way of selling: e-selling really works! We have understood that even though everything is closed, the internet still works, people communicate on social media, and even business goes through it. We plan to launch an online platform for selling all of our production.”

Eugénie has produced more than 5,000 masks already. And she is just getting started.