Financial management training helps beneficiaries plan for their businesses

In search of better jobs and more secure income, hundreds of women and a few men join our Challenging Heights Women Economic Empowerment Programme (WEEP) training sessions throughout the year.

Part of each training session includes life skills trainings that could help in the future of their businesses, like simple best practices for personal finance management. At one session, the group heard from Challenging Heights Grants Manager, Jonathan Anderson, who shared insight into how to save, open bank accounts and raise financial capital. People may be able to make money already, but Jonathan says most people in the Winneba or Senya areas still keep cash in unsafe places, like easily accessible in their houses.

So many who sell goods at the market, or even own small shops in Winneba and the Central Region may face challenges in terms of keeping records of purchases and sales. Jonathan suggested that people need to know when they’re unable to keep their own records and know when they should employ someone who can help. In terms of savings, it’s important that the small business owners who attend our trainings should save to raise financial capital and be able to expand their businesses.

The women are encouraged to form cooperative groups, so that people can more easily manage their market training, in terms of selling products to customers. With a group, they can easily pool resources, and help people access certain services that individuals cannot easily access if they don’t have enough capital to start their own bank accounts.  With a group, the bank will leverage their rates of losing money. They will benefit from collective action, where each member of the cooperative is held responsible to make sure their collective money is paid back. They’ll be more likely to receive loans in cooperatives.

Working with banks in groups, the individuals will then get experience with investments, training and information about what could be available to help them as they build a business. A lot of the women would not know what could be available to them in terms of loans or interest rates if they never stepped foot in a bank, which they could be afraid to do without encouragement or confidence.

Financial management training is added into soap making training, fish smoking and preservation training and horticulture trainings, to create comprehensive training that will give beneficiaries insight into how they can best improve their small business models. Everyone who receives skills training is also briefed in financial management, food security training and often times, child protection training.