Business Skills

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Specially trained Methodist missionaries team up the poorest villages around the world with FINCA in order to encourage and support the efforts of the self-employed poor.
 

Microfinance Connection Teams Up with FINCA to Provide Critical Business Skills Training

The United Methodist Microfinance Connection, in partnership with FINCA, provides Business Skills Training classes to every microloan recipient. We believe these Training Classes transfer knowledge and build the community understanding that maximize the chances for an entrepreneur to succeed.

Providing skills training transforms minds, and changes the lives and families surrounding the entrepreneur. Teaching all-important concepts about planning and management have proven to be far more effective than simply providing an entrepreneur with a cash loan.

For an individual or group to qualify for a loan from FINCA, the Intro to Microfinance and Savings training sessions are required.

 
Methodist field teams currently provide the following types of training for potential entrepreneurs:

Intro to Microfinance

Training sessions last about 3 hours and cover in detail what is involved in the FINCA loan process and what is required of each person who receives a loan.
 
 

Savings Training

to make sure potential borrowers understand the importance of savings and loan repayment.
 
 
 
 
 

Marketing Training

to help entrepreneurs understand how to identify who their customer is, & determine what their needs are. Training focuses on Product, Price, Placement and Promotion, & lasts about 2 ½ hours.
 

Costing Training

to help entrepreneurs understand how to price their product or service.
 
 
 
 
 
 


Microfinance Connection Business Skills

Intro to Microfinance

The required Introduction to Microfinance course presented in local churches lasts about 2 1/2 hours depending on class participation. The session presents the 2 main mechanisms FINCA uses to deliver financial services (Relationship-based for individuals, and Group-based for groups.) The program also outlines the purposes of the program (alleviating poverty, developing the community, and growing the local church) and details the various FINCA products. This introductory course serves as an effective introduction to microfinance and to FINCA’s microloan programs.


Microfinance Connection Business Skills

Savings Training

The required Savings Training course lasts about 2 1/2 hours depending on class participation. Using the attention phrase “Savings – You Can Do It!” the title of the course is “Financial Education – From Poverty to Prosperity.” The 5-step course covers the basics of how a microfinance relationship with FINCA can help participants to achieve better and fuller lives for their families.

Introduction to Savings

The first presentation covers topics like “What are Savings?” and “Why do people save?” Using active learning techniques like discussion and rephrasing to engage and teach, the team introduces the “Two Rules of Saving.”

Setting Savings Goals

This presentation outlines the differences between short and long-term goals. As participants learn and understand the difference, they are encouraged to set their own savings goals and rank them in order of importance.

Developing a Family Savings Plan

Participants find out how much reaching their goals might cost. Participants discuss when they would need the money, and how much they would need to save every week or month to repay the loan.

Increasing Savings

Participants discuss what they can do to save more money and where savings come from. After reading a story about an example family, participants answer questions like: “What are the family’s savings goals?” and “When and how can the family save?”

Review and Wrap-up

The sessions conclude with rules of thumb for saving, tips for increasing savings, and checks for understanding including question-answer sessions.


Microfinance Connection Business Skills

Marketing Training

The Marketing Training course concentrates on helping recipients of a FINCA loan to understand the basics of marketing – from identifying who customers are, understanding their needs, and determining how to service and satisfy them. The session also teaches about the importance of market research, and how to learn about both customers and competitors.


Microfinance Connection Business Skills

Costing Training

 

The informative Costing Training sessions help entrepreneurs understand the realities of managing the overhead of a small business: how to price their product or service, and how important it is to project in advance the true money and time costs involved.