Skills Training Inspires New Business Ventures

Woman holds her newly made beaded sandals

Sandra shows off her beaded sandals

In addition to offering general business training and micro-loans, from time to time Self-Help offers women skills training so they can learn new trades.  The most recent skills-based training session we held was on beading for women in the villages of Bedabour, Beposo, and Kwame Dwaa, and it was a great success! Eight more women are using their new skills to start new beading businesses!

Back in May 2015, we taught several micro-credit trust groups from Kwaso village how to develop enterprises involving beaded products, such as making necklaces, bracelets, and beaded flip flops.  These sandals, locally called “Charlie” are mostly used in the bathroom or when attending funerals. With beads added, they become multi-purpose sandals and can be worn to church services or the market as well.

beautiful beaded sandals called

“Charlie” Sandals

Sandra experienced great success with her beading business following that training session and also taught the trade to a friend who now earns her living from making and selling beads products. As her business grew, she demonstrated creativity in developing innovative designs to set her sandals apart from the standard ones sold in the market. Women from other villages began requesting to learn beading as well, so we invited Sandra and her friend to serve as the skilled trainers to teach others the trade and enhance their leadership development.

The training was offered to all who were interested, whether they were already involved in our micro-credit program or not, and we expected about 15 women to attend the training session based on conversations with them leading up to the training day. To our surprise, 31 women showed up to the three days of training sessions, demonstrating the demand and interest from community members!

Training on the first day was mind blowing as women tried their hands on what was being taught. Their attention during the training was impressive, as they were eager to make a business out of what they learned. Women young and old tested their beading skills, learning from their mistakes and improving their speed. All participants had the chance to make 1-3 pairs of slippers and necklaces depending on their speed. It was also an excellent opportunity for Sandra and her friend to develop new leadership skills. It was beautiful to see how far Sandra had come from needing training to now leading the training herself.

At the end of the third day, eight women decided to craft and sell beaded slippers and necklaces for their new business. We assured them that upon completion of the financial literacy training sessions, funds would be available to initiate the new business ventures and put their new skills into action.

group of women show their newly-made beaded sandals

Trainees show off their newly-made sandals

Thank you for your ongoing support, which makes training sessions like this one possible, and enables women to start up new business ventures. We had funds to issue the eight women start up loans of $50 each. Your continued support of this project will provide the funds to help the women expand their businesses with higher loan amounts in the coming months.