Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Microfinance 101

Don’t laugh, but I taught a segment of Faith Alive’s Microbusiness Workshop. Dickson asked me to teach about resource mobilization and I said, “What?” I think that’s also what the students thought when he used other educated phrases during his initial Powerpoint presentation.

Instead, Dr. Chris suggested that I explain SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). But I only had thirty minutes, I would need an interpreter and many of the students aren’t educated past primary school. Hmmm. So I chose to translate a few SWOT principles into simple questions.

The main thing I stressed was that each person needs to sell something (goods or services) that is a right-fit for them. Using an example I learned from my Group Publishing training days, I asked them to each take off their right shoe and trade with someone sitting next to them. I asked them to stand and walk. After Dickson took a few steps in one flat and one high heeled shoe, everyone laughed.

“How did that feel?” I asked them.

“Not comfortable!”

“That is like your business. What is right for you to sell might not be right for others to sell. Please choose wisely.”

So much for my contribution to Microfinance 101.

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