Micro-loans are at the heart of the Ember Project. Grandparents decide for themselves what is feasible in beginning a small business. Ember helps them to choose what they might do to earn money for themselves so they can afford to raise the children in their care. Small businesses include rope-making, selling dried fish, raising pigs, growing groundnuts, making soap, and bee-keeping.
Dried fish, mangoes, maize, etc.
Grandparents are also encouraged to help others with struggling businesses. In the spring of 2015, 130 grandparents were participating in the micro-loan program, each receiving loans of between 5 and 55 US dollars.
Mary received a loan of 500 KSH ($6.20 US) to purchase maize and sorghum seeds, which she planted. She then sold seeds to play back her loan in ten months and bought a pig. From her profits, she bought clothes for grandchildren and has saved 1,400 KSH ($17.63 US).