Please describe how your project has been successful and how that success is measured
The initiative has been successful as it has provided a complete support system that addresses all relevant needs. This has been a key factor in its success. Some of these comments can be reviewed in the videos. This success for each activity area is indicated below:
Vocational or Skills training:
We have seen a 95% graduation rate from the vocational skills training. About 5% have dropped out of the program due to personal /family reason. Over 60% of the computer training beneficiaries obtained a job within 6 months of completion of the training. In each area the trainees have excelled in learning and application of the skills training.
The beneficiaries have been very successful in applying the skills learned. This has helped transform and grow their businesses. Over 85% of the trainees have seen a growth of their business within 1 year of completion. The feedback received from the beneficiaries indicates directly that their business processes have been changed as a result of the training. The feedback from the training evaluation form was been very positive.
Microfinance / Tool Kits:
The interest-free loan repayment rate currently stands at 90%. In some instances, the beneficiaries have asked for additional time to repay. The testimonials from the beneficiaries clearly indicate that they would not have been able to obtain a loan without our intervention. Additionally, the loan has helped each of them grow their businesses. The tool kits as well has helped them start their own businesses – without which they would either be unemployed or working for someone else.
Mentoring and Follow up:
Positive and complementary informal feedback and comments from participants indicates that the follow up component has been a key factor in the initiative’s overall success.
How will your project evolve over the next three years?
Over the upcoming years we intend to continuously improve by receiving feedback from beneficiaries and learning from the best practices of other organizations worldwide. In the past year, we launched the smaller segment of the initiative in Bo, a rural town in Sierra Leone (where the needs are even greater), in the Ivory Coast, and in the Gambia. We are planning to further expand in these sectors.
Together with other partners, we will engage stakeholders in networking and business training to disseminate information and provide learning from project implementation. Lessons learned will be shared with the community and disseminated through a special website promoting microfinance. The website will share the successes and lessons learned for the benefit of all - globally.