Pandemin har i princip raderat alla jobbmöjligheter. Därför startar vi nu, i samarbete med LoveToGive på plats, ytterligare en starta eget-kurs för 20 kvinnor i desperat behov av en möjlighet att försörja sina familjer. Kursen bygger på hjälp-till-självhjälp principen, där gruppen tillsammans ökar möjligheterna att lyckas. De får ansöka om en plats, och deras möjligheter att klara av kursen, utvärderas noga av LoveToGive.
“The idea behind the self-help groups is to build resilience. Xhosa people have a very long history of communal savings which goes back to colonial and apartheid times when they could not open bank accounts. Having an initial pool of money allows members to borrow from the pot in order to implement an idea that will grow their business. The other members of the group have to approve the loan and agree on repayment terms and the interest that will be charged. They would also act as risk assessors on the business idea. Additionally every member of the group agrees to a monthly amount they will pay in to increase the pot of money. Going forward therefore they will have a growing pool of money that they will continue to be able to use for growth and for any unexpected disasters in the future – like the current pandemic and hard lockdown. This fosters independence and deals with the difficulty small businesses have always had when trying to access capital to grow their business.
With the collapse of tourism in this area due to the pandemic as well as the ban on alcohol sales, many jobs have been lost and many families are battling to survive. We are currently assessing the 450 families that we were assisting with food parcels at the end of the 2020 and anticipate that many of them will continue to need our assistance. Job opportunities are scarce so we are finding many more people who are very interested in opening small businesses. We are delighted therefore to be able to offer the Business for Life Course as it has a proven track record of success and provides a solid base of business knowledge for a new business owner to apply. They learn how to look for opportunities and how to assess the viability of their business idea, how to build a business plan, how to calculate a break even point, how to keep financial records and how to market their product or service. We know that we will need to continue to assist a large number of families with food parcels but being able to help 20 small businesses start up, means that those families can start becoming self-sufficient in the absence of job opportunities.”