Formal employment is scarce in rural areas. Communities have to generate their own opportunities, but often lack basic business skills.
The Village Savings and Loans system creates access to credit, which in turn, stimulates interest in business. Many VSL members are already using their loans to build up farms and small businesses. Many more members say they would like to start a new business, to diversify their sources of income.
85% VSL members have primary level education. 55% VSL members are already running their own business, and many more would like to start one.
VSL members are often held back by lack of business skills and find it hard to identify opportunities for innovation. The most recurring request from VSL members has been for business training. Rural communities typically have many similar subsistence businesses. There is huge potential and need for innovation, diversity and value-adding businesses in the rural economy.
STEP 1: BUSINESS SKILLS TRAINING
In September 2016, for the first time we trained 366 VSL members in planning and managing a business. We will measure the impact through the increased value of members' savings in VSL groups.
STEP 2: BUSINESS INNOVATION
We're now working on exciting plans to foster business innovation, to help community members identify new and more profitable opportunities. Look out for news on this initiative in 2017!