SMALL BUSINESS PROJECT-BOMA. (Helping Women Graduate from Extreme Poverty)
BACKGROUND, LOCATION AND TARGET BENEFICIARIES.
The BOMA Project is a U.S. nonprofit and registered Kenyan NGO with a proven track record, measurable results and a transformative approach to alleviating poverty and building resiliency in the arid lands of rural Africa. Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP) replaces aid with sustainable income and helps women to “graduate” from extreme poverty by giving them the tools they need to start small businesses in their communities. With this new and diversified source of income, they can feed their families, pay for school fees and medical care, accumulate savings for ...view middle of the document...
REAP is a two-year poverty graduation program that provides a cash grant (seed capital to launch a business), sustained training in business skills and savings, and hands-on local mentoring by BOMA Village Mentors to business groups of three women. When the businesses are established and generating profits, typically at six months, Mentors work with REAP groups to form BOMA savings associations and work with each savings group for one year. Their program targets the poorest of the poor: When they begin working with them, 99 percent of BOMA entrepreneurs live on less than $2.50 per day (the poverty line), while 88 percent live on less than $1.25 per day (the extreme poverty ) .
BOMA’S SEVEN STEPS TO POVERTY GRADUATION
Step 1 (Pre-intervention): BOMA meets with community leaders to discuss collaboration. Mentors consult with BOMA Location Committee to identify participants. Mentors qualify participants with Grameen Progress Out of Poverty Index (PPI), ensuring that 75% are below the extreme poverty line ($1.25 per day) and 100% are below the poverty line ($2.50 per day). Mentor collects baseline data with BOMA’s Standard of Living Index (SOLI).
Step 2 (Mentoring): Mentors assemble business groups and help them write a business plan (including projected start-up costs, budget, and a savings plan). Mentoring continues for two years, including instruction, help with record-keeping, mediation and advice. Mentors visit each business and savings group monthly.
Step 3 (Jump Grant): Each group receives a seed-capital Jump Grant in the KES equivalent of $100 (£62.50). Grants are disbursed in a public setting with all participants and community leaders. Grants are tracked by a strict system of receipts (for grant-distribution security information, see below).
Step 4 (Business Skills Training): Participants receive a skills training class led by their Mentor at the time of the Jump Grant that discusses supply and demand, profit and pricing, record keeping, marketing and savings. Participants are given a record book. Village elders, community leaders and district officials attend, encouraging success.
Step 5 (Progress Report and 2nd Grant with Savings Training): Following completion of a Progress Report by their Mentor at approximately three months, each group receives a final Progress Grant of $50 (£31.25) at six months. The second phase of funding is conditional upon continued business operation, ensuring that the first grant is used for the business. Mentors introduce the savings program and deliver micro-savings training (record-keeping, planning for future...