Creating Opportunities Together: How Your Generosity is Helping Women Grow Their Businesses
Your enthusiasm and support of the Her Time to Grow project has been inspiring! In just over one year, you have donated nearly 70% of the matching funds needed to see this project through its four-year implementation. That’s $527,996!!
That is a HUGE accomplishment – THANK YOU!
Another thing that’s needed to get big projects off to a good start is careful research and planning.
Because of your support, the country teams in Ghana, Zambia and Ethiopia were able to do that by focusing on listening, learning and discovering the best next steps. This work was done alongside the women the project aims to support. This aligns with iDE’s Human Centred Design approach, which actively involves the people we support in the creation of products, services or solutions. Simply put, don’t do anything for them, without them.
During the research phase, the team learned that access to funds that help women start or enhance their business are difficult to come by.
A proposed solution is to create community saving and lending groups for women, called Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA). A VSLA is a group that pools money together and distributes it as loans to members. The members use the loans for business expenses, like buying seeds, tools and fertilizer. Loans are then paid back with interest to the pool and the earnings are distributed amongst the members. The women use their earnings on things like school fees and food as well as an investment into their business.
The country teams will support and enhance existing saving and lending groups and form new ones in areas where none exist. A long-term goal is for these groups to move from simpler saving and lending groups to a supportive community of business women that celebrate and work together to achieve business opportunities like group money making projects, group purchases and group selling.
Thank you for getting the Her Time to Grow project off to a good start!
Want to read more about VSLAs and how they helped Zambian farmer Tryness Nsofwa? Check out this article: go.ideglobal.org/vsla