Our Job Creation model is anchored on four key pillars: Social Mobilization, Business Training (intensive training of Six Key Modules over a six month period culminating in graduation and issuance of a certificate), Access to Credit and Linking Entrepreneurs to Markets. Group savings and skills training aren’t rare. Nor, for that matter, is microfinance. But where other organizations focus on one or two of these elements, Hand in Hand Zimbabwe combines all three – then adds a fourth by connecting entrepreneurs to larger markets. Our model is efficient and cost-effective. We work in four key stages.
First we create Self-Help Groups, typically made up of women, who support each other, save together and learn together. Contributions to group savings funds are required from all 20 or so members at every weekly meeting.
Once a group is stable, with its savings fund firmly in place, we train members to discover and develop small businesses with modules in basic bookkeeping, business development, marketing and more. Illiterate and innumerate members are trained using pictures, parables and songs.
Group savings funds help finance most new Hand in Hand businesses. But when members need more than they can borrow internally, we train them in credit management and provide access to microloans, typically worth about US $100, funded by us or a partner. The average repayment rate network-wide is comfortably above 99 percent.
Finally, we help established Hand in Hand entrepreneurs compete – and thrive – by finding larger markets, sourcing cheaper supplies and improving their branding, packaging and more. Scaling up helps entrepreneurs provide for their families and benefits their communities.