Beatrice uses loan to expand egg selling business
We are excited to share with you the launch of an exciting, new pilot program to increase access to economic opportunities and build financial literacy skills of parents of our nursery school children. Introduced in February 2019, the program targets parents with training and support to start or grow small scale businesses and ultimately empower them to better provide for the needs of their families. Our first cohort comprises 10 parents (9 female, 1 male) selected based on need and readiness to meaningfully engage in the program.
As a first step, we convened selected parents to orient them to the purpose of the initiative and gather inputs on the parents' most pressing needs and challenges. The parents collectively developed a set of governing rules and established expectations and goals to carry their group forward. We utilized the parents' inputs to shape the structure and content of the initiative itself.
Following the initial orientation, the group participated in a one-week training conducted by professors from nearby Tangaza University through which they gained information and skills relevant to starting and managing small businesses. During the sessions, parents developed business plans, learned about establishing savings and discussed how savings could be used to expand their businesses. Each participant then identified their own viable business idea and received a small loan to launch their business venture.
Since the training, 8 of the 10 parents have successfully utilized their loans to start or grow a business and are routinely tracking their earnings. These 8 parents have also started to repay their loans on a bi-weekly basis, drawing on income from their start-up businesses. Since the initial training, we have supported bi-monthly refresher trainings to create a forum for parents to share their experiences in business start-up and troubleshoot the challenges faced. This has created a support group like environment in which parents are learning from and supporting one another in continued growth of their businesses.
In January 2020, the group will participate in a leadership skills training to prepare them for graduation from the program. The training will help them to elect group leaders and develop a succession plan for each parent to ensure the continuity of the group and its members following the involvement of St. Vincent's.
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