Burundi, known as one of the smallest countries in Africa, faces immense hardship as the second-poorest country in the world. Its economy is heavily dependent on subsistence agriculture and grazing, leading to deforestation, soil erosion, and habitat loss. By 2005, the nation had lost nearly all its forest cover, with less than 6% of land remaining wooded and commercial plantations occupying over half of that small percentage. Access to financial services is a significant challenge, with only 2% of the population holding bank accounts and less than 0.5% using bank lending services. Microfinance institutions play a more significant role, reaching 4% of Burundians, surpassing banking and postal services combined. The country’s economic struggles are further exacerbated by a lack of natural resources and the lasting impact of a 12-year civil war. With approximately 80% of the population relying on subsistence agriculture, food insecurity in Burundi is nearly twice as high as the sub-Saharan African average.
Despite its hardships, Burundi’s population of around 12 to 13 million is composed of 12 distinct people groups, with 3 of them (25.0%) considered unreached. Christianity is the dominant religion, with 93.4% of Burundians identifying as Christian adherents, of which 30.27% identify as evangelical. The evangelical community has been experiencing an annual growth rate of 3.8%. However, despite its religious demographics, the country continues to grapple with profound poverty, limited access to basic services, and significant socio-economic disparities.
A local team is actively engaged in Disciple Making Movements and has planted 14 churches, focusing on the Pygmy community. They train and send out church planters. The leader of this community is also involved in a carwash business. As Business for Movements we are helping this community to start businesses to help them become self-sustainable and use business to make disciples. In September 2023 we facilitate a Pioneer Business Planting consultation with our local African team.
Goals for 2023/2024:
- Train 50 people in starting businesses alongside their church planting efforts.
- Coach 4-8 people to write business plans and initiate their own businesses.
- Establish 4-8 small businesses.
- Develop 3-5 trainers/coaches to further support entrepreneurial initiatives.
The total required budget for travel costs and training materials is $6,000.