Harriet Nsubuga, our business coach, works in close association with our #WomenInBusiness. We asked her to highlight a few of the women’s challenges, some solutions WCFJC has provided and her dreams for the participants.
Business Challenges and Solutions
“Our participants face a number of challenges. I however, will only touch on two. One is the widely held belief that “access to finance” will solve all their business challenges. Consequently, there is a low appreciation for the other components that contribute to good business health. I believe that the groups our participants form after joining WCFJC and the group business projects they subsequently undertake will help deepen our participant’s appreciation of the other components that contribute to business growth. The business skills and knowledge gained through WCFJC workshops and group projects will eventually be transferred to the women’s individual businesses and result in sustainable business growth.
Another challenge is irregular meeting attendance which makes it difficult to collect contributions towards the group projects. Some participants also skip our workshops and coaching sessions and thus miss out on a lot of vital information. The solution here is to strengthen group cohesion, which will build the spirit of camaraderie, ownership of and commitment to group objectives. Participants will view group activities as enjoyable events that they look forward to. Consequently, attendance at group meetings, workshops and coaching sessions will improve as will participation in all group activities. The groups also serve as a means of reminding participants of their savings and WCFJC loan repayment obligations.
The above challenges notwithstanding, it is inspiring to watch the women’s businesses undergo transformation as a result of our in-kind micro loans and business trainings (visit http://www.wcfjc.org/what-we-do/our-programs/success-stories/ for more information). As the quality of their products improves, the WCFJC participants gain the confidence to display and sell them every time we hold a WCFJC workshop. The Core Development Women’s Group displays and sells liquid soap, Rebecca - kitenge (brightly printed cotton fabric) pieces and jewellery, Mary - liquid soap, Florence – herbal drink powder and Jennifer – Kumbucha health drink. Each of these businesses has grown in one way or another as a result of WCFJC support.
My Dream for WCFJC Participants
My dream is to see all the individual businesses and group projects that we oversee growing profitably and sustainably. I look forward to the day when even in my absence, the women we work with will hold their own sessions to discuss their businesses challenges, collaborate to identify and implement solutions and celebrate their successes. I pray that these women’s business initiatives will thrive, outlast their founders and get passed on to an interested and capable next generation.”