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How It Works

Before giving out the loan

-          Questionnaire

We seek to gain a more holistic view of each woman’s situation, to find the ways in which we can best help her. For this, we conduct a series of questionnaires and meetings to assess the different aspects of her financial situation, the costs of her business and the profit she makes. We also ensure that our trainings are inclusive and relevant by asking the women what their goals are and if they have specific business or social needs that we can support.

-          Livelihood agreement

After assessing each woman’s situation, we write up an individual loan agreement. The information gathered from the questionnaires helps us decide the amount and the recommended repayment time for each individual case. These are then agreed upon with the recipient of the loan. The repayment is done via monthly installments, whose amounts are determined by the length of repayment, the loan amount, and the interest rate. Loans range from 100GHC (~USD33) to 500GHC (~USD 167), repaid between 3 and 12 months. We offer interest rates of 14%, and as low as 4% for first-time recipients.

After giving out the loan:

 

-          Monitoring and Evaluation

We meet with the women included in the Livelihood project regularly, often by going to see them at their business during a working day. In other occasions we observe how they deal with their suppliers, by going with them to the market for example.  We collect data to help them with their bookkeeping, and more generally try to pick out any issues that we believe can have negative effects on their business. We also seek to get a more complete idea of their family situation and expenses, since many of these women are sole providers of large families.  This allows us to offer individual, case-by-case assessments, suggestions and personalised help.

 

-          Group Meetings

As well as meeting with the women individually at their place of work, we also arrange group meetings. The main aim is to train the women in areas in which we feel can help them improve their business, such as book-keeping, saving and investment as well as marketing strategies. We try to get them to participate as much as possible in these meetings, encouraging open discussions, questions and suggestions about other areas they would like help with. Eventually we would like to make these trainings more comprehensive, by including literacy training or health education.

Training materials: Personal Expense/Revenue sheets

An essential part of the project is business and financial training. Many of these women are unaware of the costs, revenues, and profit their businesses have. Many cannot see the value of long-term planning, which discourages them from saving. We introduce them to these concepts by means of revenue/expense sheets and relevant case studies, encouraging them to track their own costs and revenues, and calculate their profits. Where possible and when needed we introduce cross-sector training in such areas as reproductive health and literacy. This allows them to fully understand the opportunities they have or can uncover, their potential profits, areas of social growth, and enables them to recognize themselves as fully-capable, independent providers for their families.

AFAWI LIVELIHOOD

AFAWI Clothing Cooperative

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