Wawcas 16 months entrepreneurship program is divided into 3 phases. The training is handled by Wawcas’ certified trainers – i.e. Wawcas Local Program Leaders (LPLs).
During the long-term training the women change. They become somebody from nobody, as they put it themselves. The journey begins with the preparation phase which lasts 3 months. The goal of this phase is to make the women ready to join a group and to build a strong foundation in each woman and sense of solidarity.
The women must show readiness to make initial life changes and to start their businesses.
Preparation Phase (3 months)
1. Weekly meetings:
The trainers meet with the women weekly at their place to make sure that all potential new female entrepreneurs get a chance to join.
2. Home visits:
The trainers visit the women weekly in their homes to learn about the family situation. With knowledge of their situation, Wawcas can train the women efficiently.
3. Creating a new group
Poor and ultra-poor women can join the group. The selection criteria are developed together with the women.
The women must save daily from the beginning despite the
fact that they have very little money or food. The aim is to raise awareness towards the importance of being independent. To this end the women need to show motivation and understanding through saving.
5. Identifying challenges
The women’s challenges are identified and based on their particular situation. And from here the training content is developed.
Implementation Phase (12 months)
In the implementation phase the women develop their businesses and make them successful.
The children start going to school regularly, and the women implement the changes needed in their personal lives and in their businesses.
In groups of 5, the women share responsibility for each other’s success.
1. Developing a democratic group
We support the women in developing democratic norms for the group activities and roles of the chairperson, secretary and treasurer.
2. Business planning and startup
The women develop business plans, which are revised quarterly.
The business starts at the beginning of the implementation phase.
3. Loan and repayment
Each woman gets a loan of maximum 30.000 npr. without any collateral. The loan is repaid in 12 months.
The women have a 98 % repayment rate due to close follow up by the trainers and because their businesses are successful. The repaid loans go to new women.
4. Saving and loans in the group
Saving is mandatory. Each month all women personally save an agreed amount. They also make optional savings for themselves and child education.
The group becomes a small bank to its members. It gives them access to money, which normally is very difficult for these women. The group loans are repaid in three months.
5. Bi-monthly training
Training takes place twice a month in the women’s home area. The content is based on each woman’s challenges and combines business and social mobilization training.
Training in business development, market management, profit and loss, and social development such as children and women rights, nutrition, genderequality, and sanitation.
6. Bimonthly home- and business visits
The trainers visit the women at home and at their business to follow up on the training. .
A big part of Wawcas success is due to the fact, that we meet each woman in her reality, creating training that supports her specific needs.
Exit Phase (1 months)
After the Implementation phase the women and their groups are ready to continue on their own.
1. Review of progress
Each woman’s progress is evaluated and documented in Wawcas’ datasystem: their economic status, the issues they raised in the beginning of the training, and the change-indicators.
2. 5-year plan
The women create a strategic plan for where they see their business in 5 years – and a 5-year plan for the group.
3. Link with the relevant authorities
The groups are registered with local authorities in order to draw on government resources.
4. Groups assume responsibility
As the last step of the program each group becomes responsible for itself – meeting monthly to continue saving, loan-giving and for the women to support each other.