Repaying 9000 rupees (100 EUR) in 5 years – about business struggles of people living at the poverty line

Successful participants of the basic business skills training

Just imagine you have grown up in poor surroundings, maybe a slum area or maybe a remote village. Some years of schools – maybe. Your life has been mostly about finding ways to survive. Getting fresh water, enough food. Sometimes your family had a little income. Daily wages. But also many days without. Many critical days, as well. Hoping to deal and overcome diseases such as AIDS, Malaria, Cholera. Losses, depressions, no hope.

You can’t make snacks if you do not have a pot and enough money for fire wood or charcoal…

For sure there are opportunities here and there to start something, some kind of business. But often it fails or is not even tried because you can simply not afford. Sometimes it is a matter of 20, 30 or 50 EUR which are very simply not there to get the basics. No bank will give you a loan. Or at very bad conditions. There are even hurdles to get so called “micro credits”… that’s why women often save money together – in self help groups. 20 cent per week, 15 women. Often it takes years before they can give loans among themselves… but that’s not all…

In the past months we did run the first basic GoBIZ training with ca 30 women coming from different women groups around Coimbatore.

When I worked with women groups who had learned on how to make soap and wanted to sell them now, I realized that there was another big issue… the lack of basic business skills. How to calculate, the difference between turnover and profit, marketing issues, supply chain… these were all things they were not aware of.

Training situations

GoBiz – our first basic business program in India

Now the first group of 30 participants has gone through the program. Several training modules – from thinking about what is a business and what is not to being able to calculate very concretely if a business idea makes sense. Learning about setting up a business, targeting and the importance of marketing…

“Yesterday we have conducted the final GoBIZ module and certificate distributed. Those who attended five and above modules out of 8 modules and passed in tests, they got completed certificate and others got participation certificates,” shared our local NGO partner Selvaraj from the Karl Kübel institute development in Coimbatore. “It was a great and important learning for all and very much appreciated. It will help them a lot. All the participants are happy to participate in the programmes. Some say it’s a rare opportunity to get these types business skill training. Those who are doing small business, now they know how to plan a business and monitor finance and investments.”

The training modules had been prepared and taught by my colleagues at Boehringer Ingelheim. Thanks to all of you for volunteering and engaging with so much passion!

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