To create confident, successful members and clients, Fonkoze offers Business Skills Training tailored to each of the first three Steps on our Staircase Out of Poverty. This instruction teaches members the fundamentals of small business management, enabling them to be competitive and make sound financial decisions.
At the beginning of Fonkoze’s first Step, our Chemen Lavi Miyò (CLM) program, new members participate in a six-day enterprise training workshop, during which they prepare to manage the assets provided to them by CLM. Every three months afterwards, they participate in four-day review sessions to hone their new skills. The core of their training, however, takes place during one-on-one weekly meetings with their case managers. Over the course of the 18-month CLM program, they review their business decisions with their case managers and learn to plan strategically, using their newfound financial security to think beyond how they will find their next meal. By the program’s end, CLM members have the skills to act as confident small businesswomen.
Prior to starting Step two, the Ti Kredi program, new Ti Kredi clients participate in a four-week training course that introduces them to microfinance, Fonkoze’s lending program, and basic financial and business management concepts. The course prepares new clients to receive their first microloans, and Ti Kredi credit agents continue to build on their skills during weekly meetings throughout the six-month program. After completing the program, 92% of Ti Kredi clients continue into Solidarity Lending.
Solidarity clients have the opportunity to participate in Business Skills, a four-month class taught by fellow clients who have been trained and certified by a Fonkoze Education agent. Although the majority of Solidarity clients are already operating (or already have experience operating) a small business before joining Fonkoze, many lack basic knowledge of product differentiation, budgets, and financial planning. The Business Skills class enables them to increase their profits and manage their businesses more successfully.
Each of these training opportunities creates stronger, more confident small businesswomen who feel empowered to provide a better life for their families.