I’m sitting in a training workshop in rural Uganda. My friend David Musoke is training community leaders (some of whom are illiterate) in community banking and micro enterprise development.
This really is micro enterprise. The example on the board behind him has a total enterprise capitalisation of $20.
The material he is using has been home grown and is having incredible impact. It includes workshops on cash flow and working capital and business planning.
It reminds me of a conversation I had with Steven in Rwanda. We were talking about micro enterprise development among a rural community of war widows and in my naivity I asked him how we get these women to a dollar a day. He laughed at me and said his hope was to get them to $2 per month. At that level they could afford soap and salt – everything else they needed could be grown in their own fields.
This is why building the capacity of local change agents like David and Steven is so important – they understand the context and are able to translate complex corporate concepts into a language (and make use of appropriate local examples) that empower illiterate communities and bring lasting change.