Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Teaching Barefoot MBA to Microentrepreneurs

Since February 2010, Inner City Development Cooperative (ICDC), GIVE’s field partner in the Philippines, has trained 1,700 microloan recipients in the Barefoot MBA. It was just last fall that their staff were trained in the program themselves, so they haven’t wasted any time passing it along to people who can benefit from the training.

Many of the Filipinos who receive microloans had to empty any savings they had in the wake of last winter’s typhoons. With huge sections of Manila damaged or destroyed, residents often had to spend everything they had to get food, water, and shelter for their families.

Because savings accounts looked so depleted, ICDC tailored the Barefoot MBA lessons toward helping loan recipients save money. One of the benefits of the program is that it is modular, so MFIs can tailor the training they offer to the specific needs of the community they’re in. This flexibility makes the Barefoot MBA ideal for a number of situations because it can be relevant to all of them.

In case you’re wondering, the program is working! 40% of the 1700 people trained this year have increased their savings. With this kind of response, ICDC and GIVE are excited about what could happen when they start teaching the other modules in the program, probably sometime this winter.