Thanks to your support, four management consultants from Ernst and Young began providing their services to 80 small tailors throughout Accra, Ghana in February 2009. They are meeting with each tailor once a week, and started with basic record keeping and financial literacy training before moving on to profit margin calculations.
“One of the challenges is education,” said Andrew Osei-Bonsu, the project co-coordinator at Ernst and Young, “One of my tailors is illiterate and she was having a friend keep records for her, until one day when I thought to ask, ‘If you don't write, how do you record your clients’ measurements for making dresses?’ It turns out that she uses this whole system of letters and symbols that we were able to adapt for financial record keeping!”
For many of the tailors, April was the first month they had ever calculated their profit, and it proved to be an enlightening experience. “One tailor actually incurred a loss of about $1.50 in April because she was spending her working capital on personal items. So in May, she will pay herself a set weekly salary and she has a goal of saving enough to buy a padlock for her shop,” shared Mavis Mensa, one of the Earnst and Young consultants. “Separating business expenses and personal expenses was a big early lesson, but we are also starting to get into some interesting topics like customer relations, time management, sourcing, marketing and branding.”
Thank you all for helping to make this possible, and please leave your feedback on our comments page!