New savings group training initiative graduates its first class
Ten women graduated from the first Women’s Savings Group Training Initiative Wednesday evening September 28, after attending the five-week programme.
The initiative was launched by the Volunteer Youth Corps (VYC), through the support of Cuso International and is geared towards helping women better manage their money through savings groups, preparing them to become business owners.
The project is operating under VYC’s Women’s Empowerment Programme to help the women overcome one of the main barriers that stops them from starting businesses in Guyana: inability to access funding.
Each participant worked through 13 modules: starting with basic information on saving groups rules and regulations, then moving on to book-keeping and record keeping, budgeting and developing saving plans, the statutory requirements for business owners, and securing loans and setting-up bank accounts.
A major component of SGTI was assisting the women to create their business plans either for starting a new business or developing an existing one.
The women save together as a Trust Deed under a single bank account. Groups are owned, managed and operated by the members who convert small amounts of cash into savings.
Each member works towards her individual savings goal, and all of their savings belong to them, but the group setting encourages accountability.
Many of the women are saving towards the 20 per cent equity contribution and legal fees required when applying for a business loan.
After graduating from the programme, the women will begin a savings group and many will be officially registering their new businesses.
VYC will continue to track their progress with a 12-week follow-up programme, in order to limit the risk of failure.
VYC is now recruiting interested participants for the next session of the SGTI programme.
Interested persons can register at the VYC office, by visiting the office with a passport-sized photo and filling out the registration form.