Tell us about the social impact of your innovation. Please include both numbers and stories as evidence of this impact
With the trainings on how they will make use of their loans efficiently. Stories of little by little expansion of their stores are very concrete evidence of Dream Inc's program to clients.
Although not able to finish their studies, our clients are able to grow and strenghten their businesses. Like a certain Ligaya Alcantara among others, owner of a very small variety store when she joined the program. Her store was very little that she could only sit inside her store and reach for everything that she sells and handover to buyers when they buy. Ligaya learned how to use her loan well that she was able to little by little provide renovation for her store that in just one year the store became bigger and provide more stuff for the needs of her customers. She was also able to carry another income generating activity which is the making of novelty items made of beads. She is making even more money out of her creations.
In about 2,000 members of Dream Inc, about 10% are able to provide for their business little by little expansion and renovation. About 80% learned and apply learning in better decision making. Approximately 15% have added another line of products for their source of additional income, specially those learned in the livelihood skills trainings.
Members become more aware and concerned in their business and personal growth. If, at first, they are not so interested in the manner Dream Inc provide and insist the importance of training capsulized in the Balita Method entrefinancing, they eventually realize the value of the trainings as they go up the ladder of their loans. They eventually understand that Dream value them and gives importance to their stability and growth. They become more at-home to the program and imbibe the fulfilling of their potentials as micro-entrepreneurs. They become disciplined and empowered to reach their realize their once just a dream, the sustaining and strengthening of their businesses.
Problem: Describe the primary problem(s) that your innovation is addressing
The contribution of microfinance in the lives of recipients might be significant but its inability to totally effect change is noteworthy. Change in the way that had microfinance been successful in empowering its recipients, multiple memberships to various microfinance institutions should not be rampant. This multiple membership phenomenon is an obvious indication that instead of empowerment and breaking of the cycle of poverty, the microfinance institutions have been active vehicles in steering the wheel for a "borrowing" mentality among the country's so called enterprising poor - a scenario which is the exact opposite of why the microfinance program was invented, in the first place.
In a study done by Dream Inc., it was found out that the reason why most microfinance institutions fail in "empowering" their recipients and thereby eradicating poverty is because the sole concern is lending money for capital purposes. The most significant capital - the borrowers - was not given proper attention, not properly equipped. Nurturing in other words was not addressed.
The BALITA Method recognizes the individual as the primary capital to be addressed rather than the monetary concerns. For it is only in equipping the recipients with additional knowledge, skills and attitudes in running a business can they grow. It is only by providing them monitoring and business coaching that they become empowered to run their businesses effectively and efficiently. It is only by inspiring and allowing these recipients to grow that they come to realize their worth as persons and strive to succeed in their lives. Only then can they be freed from the "cycle of borrowing" and finally break the chain of poverty. Only then can microfinance program claim that they have succeeded.
Actions: Describe the steps that you are taking to make your innovation a success. Include a description of the business model. What might prevent that success?
DREAM INC. makes additional funding for business available through Balita Method Entre-financing in the form of loan with 0% interest not to compete with NGOs, rural banks and cooeratives in the microfinance industry but to institute a shift in the borrower's paradigm with regards to borrowing and bring to them genuine development.
The main features of the Balita method entre-finance program that are unique and distinctive from other providers are:
- Loans with 0% interest
- Business management skills training per loan cycle compulsory to all
members for proper handling of business, sustainability and growth
- One (1) livelihood skills training per loan cycle compulsory to all members
(all members are given starter kit or processed samples after attending the
- Shorter loan term (4 months or 16 weeks) for faster access to bigger loan
- Access to succeeding loans is granted if the member attended the trainings.
The courses never appeared interesting and valuable to the people until they were "required" to attend and "forced" to avail, as what should have been paid as "interest" is now "tuition fee" for them. It is RESOURCE BUILDING. The client, or a family member or any member of their enterprise, is obliged to attend trainings that will equip him/her with competencies (knowledge, skills and attitude) aside from the personally enriching discussions during the weekly meetings.
Family entrepreneurship is encouraged that is why attendance to trainings with a member of the family is suggested.
Here is the schedule and menu of the loans and trainings:
Loan #1: USD100 Basic Meat Processing / Basic Entrepreneurship
Loan #2: USD150 Advanced Meat Processing/ Business Registration
Loan #3: USD220 Basic Bead Crafts(Novelty Items)/ Basic Marketing
Loan #4: USD270 Advanced Bead Crafts(Novelty Items)/ Cost & Price Analysis
Loan #5: USD320 Decorative Balloon Arrangement / Buying & Stock Control
Loan #6: USD350 Fancy Chocolate Molding / Basic Records Management
Loan #7: USD420 Bead Crafts (Accessories Making)/Financial & Credit Mgmt.
Loan #8: USD420 Scent Technology / Taxation
Loan #9: USD420 Specialized Training per Bus. Industry / Computer Literacy
Next stage: Business coaching and monitoring
One can remain as client and can avail of the succeeding loans only if they attend the entrepreneurial and skills trainings scheduled for them. But Dream Inc. wants a "Freedom from Debt Paradigm" for the clients, they will not borrow forever.
Non attendance to trainings and resistance to learning of potential clients will prevent the success of the program.
Results: Describe the expected results of these actions over the next three years. Please address each year separately, if possible
Upon joining the program the micro-entrepreneurs are introduced to the true world of entrepreneurship. They are provided with business foundation seminars and workshops on top of their loans. The members are given lectures and discussion on the best characteristics that entrepreneurs should have.
On 1st year, they learn Basic Entrepreneurship; Discovery of the best-suited business for their own personality so they can shift to the business more fitted to them the soonest possible time; Getting started in the right business; and would discover entrepreneurial values and leadership in themselves.
Second year is capacity build up for them. This is application of the learning they got in the series of trainings while they are paying their loans like basic marketing, basic purchasing and stock control, costing and pricing, basic record keeping, and cash flow management.
Third year would be business enhancement and strengthening for the memebers. The business coaching continues as they try to expand their business in terms of market, financial capacity and decision makings. They are supported with trainings on making marketing plans, financial planning, making a business enhancement plan, and making decisions.
As time goes by they are expected to imbibe and little by little develop in them the characteristics necessary for them to have in order to bring about relative and necessary changes in their manner of running their business.
If your innovation seeks to impact public policy, how?
That education for micro-entrepreneurs, more specially those who have not finished their education, be provided by capable institutions. That a law on providing inexpensive education and training empowering micro-entrepreneurs be passed and implemented.