The Business Development course will provide WAF’s young women and girls with the knowledge and experience necessary to run a small business and manage their personal finances. The young women and girls will gain increased confidence in their abilities as they proceed through the course and pursue practical application of the lessons. The course will take the women’s cultural background into account by using parables, biblical references, skits and other examples to explain some of the more complex business concepts.
Each business lesson will end with a simple and practical application of the material. For example, for the financial statements discussions, the girls will practice their bookkeeping skills by recording expenses, sales and inventory. For the savings portions, the girls will be given the option to create a savings group of their own and given instruction by other women from the community who have successfully saved. Finally, the course will culminate by combining all of the lessons in the form of participation in an income-generating activity and the creation of a personal business plan for later implementation.
The participants’ individual interests and needs will drive this final application. Innovative approaches will be encouraged and the staff will work with each girl to decide the best course of action. This planning and application will all take place within location. Professional relationships will be established at Arua (West Nile) beauty salons, tailoring shops, bakeries and other establishments to provide WAF students with valuable “work-shadow” experiences. After each work session, the girls and women will participate in a classroom discussion to further enhance the learning experience.
The business development course will take place over a 2-week period and will include the following topics which have been recognized by WAF staff as information that would benefit the participants in the post-residential phase:
WAF wishes to give every applicant the best chance at success, however, that will not be possible if their loan offer does not provide them with the capital necessary for even the most basic equipment and materials for their business. In order to avoid this unfortunate situation, loans will be reviewed on a case by case basis. The amount given to each chosen applicant will differ according to her chosen enterprise. While it may only cost about £30 to start a hair salon, it would cost significantly more for a tailoring shop due to the necessary equipment (about £140). WAF does not wish to discourage any applicant from going into the profession that she is passionate about; therefore, loan disbursement amounts will match the enterprise as follows: