Savings and Loans and Street Business School
Last year we held a formal review of our savings and loans programmes and concluded that some tweaks were needed. After consultation with the community we have redeveloped and relaunched the group savings schemes which are now entirely community managed. Each group decided on a monthly minimum contribution for members and they are responsible for ensuring these are made. As the savings grow, members can dip into it to take out small short term loans at an interest rate agreed by the group. These savings schemes will now run alongside our loans and as member’s savings build up the loans from us will reduce and eventually replace the need for our loan
Feedback from our community loans groups suggested that while hugely beneficial as a means of supporting small business and domestic cash flow management which in turn enabled households to improve homes, diets, health and children’s education, they were not achieving the long-term sustainability that we had hoped for. Community members businesses were not growing in a way that generated more profit that could then be invested back into the business and replacing the need for the loan, instead businesses annually needed the cash injection from the programme to enable them to continue. As a result we’ve decided to wind down our existing programmes in Sawe and Waangwaray and to develop a new programme in its place, with a bigger focus on business training.
To help us and our local delivery partner MCDO gain more experience and skills we funded Yohana and Happiness to attend an intensive business training course in Kampala, Uganda. The course, to which we won a scholarship, was provided by Street Business School, a Ugandan based NGO, who Julian met at the Opportunity Collaboration Conference in Mexico last year. For both Yohana and Happiness, it was their first time travelling outside Tanzania and following their intensive and inspiring training they have returned to Babati buzzing with enthusiasm. As officially recognised Street Business School coaches they will be adapting the street business school training programme to deliver it in Babati. In this programme the business owners are expected to find the capital for their businesses themselves and not rely on loans. We are very excited to be able to pilot this programme