Creating an Enterprising Culture within SHGs
Date Released: Wed, 15 June 2011 12:23 +0200
Recently the Raglan Road Multipurpose Centre played host to a workshop themed “Creating an Enterprising Culture within Self Help Groups”. The workshop was facilitated by the Community Development Practice, a division of the Centre for Social Development at Rhodes University.
This workshop was presented as the first in a series of workshops and training sessions targeting nine SHGs operating within the Fingo Village, Extension 6 & 7 and Ethembeni areas of Grahamstown. The Self Help Group concept is commonly defined as a group of people coming together for the common purpose of saving and loaning each other money from their savings. SHGs remain the only hope for low income households to participate in some kind of saving and micro finance scheme. In South Africa, SHGs have a huge potential for promoting sustainable livelihood through access to credit and savings for poor low income households that hugely dependent on state grants. These groups were initiated by CSD trained Community Facilitators who are also providing mentoring support and guidance to them on an ongoing basis. With the growth of membership and credit demands placed on their weekly savings, SHG are encouraged to grow and venture into some cooperative income generating activity in order to sustain themselves. However with the real challenge of financial illiteracy and lack of formal business education and skills amongst most of its members, these groups have no chance in the formal economic sector. Today’s workshop provided the only opportunity for most of the women in attendance to acquire the skills to work on developing their ideas into viable micro-enterprises. Already some of these groups have been allocated stalls during the National Arts Festival to sell their products.
By: Ntsiki Kulati