Borrowers undertake a training programme prior to applying for a loan. Sessions take place twice a week and take two hours. The training is broken down as follows:

Group Formation.

We discuss the attributes of successful groups, the roles of chair, secretary & treasurer, the characteristics and behaviour of successful group leaders, the rules and regulations of the group and adoption of constitution and ways of electing office holders. The group discusses and agrees its own constitution and elects its own officers.

Financial Literacy.

We show borrowers how to prepare simple daily records to show income & expenditure. We prepare business descriptions for each business in which group members gain detailed understanding of their own business and of others in the group. We discuss the difference between good and bad borrowings and the importance of savings for long-term security. Borrowers prepare their own plans for expanding or improving their businesses and we assist them to calculate the cost of borrowing compared with the anticipated benefit.

Group leadership training.

The office holders have an additional session to cover the roles and effective habits of chair, treasurer and secretary.

'Look before you leap'.

All potential borrowers attend a session in which former borrowers give a first-hand account of the advantages and pitfalls of group based borrowing. Their experiences include cases where things have gone wrong. We also inform potential borrowers of their rights as borrowers under the law and review the loan agreement.

Approach to training.

We use participative approaches where possible. We hold structured discussions that enable members of the group to ask questions of each other and develop understanding of each other’s businesses. Case studies and real life example are also used to stimulate debate.