Doing a Feasibility Study: Training Activities for Starting or Reviewing a Small Business
This manual is part of a series entitled “Appropriate Business Skills for Third World Women”, which makes years of “how to” experience readily available to trainers and programmers. This particular volume is focused on providing training which will help women identify new business ideas and decide if they are feasible or review their existing business enterprises to see if they can be improved. The materials were developed in Somalia, Senegal, Honduras and Peru. The training is oriented to group businesses but is equally applicable to individual businesses and is appropriate for many kinds and sizes of business.
The entire programme requires about two to three months of part time involvement to complete. The first phase involves a structured learning programme of about 25 hours, which can be spread over 1 – 3 weeks. Participants are then invited to do their own feasibility study, including attendance at a planning meeting, field visits to gather information and several 1-2 hour meetings to discuss and analyse information and make business plans. Topics covered in the structured learning include:
- Why do a feasibility study?
- Choose a product or service to sell
- Find out if people will buy our product or service
- Determine how the business will operate
- Calculate business expenses
- Estimate sales income
- Decide if the business is a good idea
The manual contains many examples of visual materials that can be used to stimulate discussion and recommends much local observation and information-gathering visits. This helps to overcome literacy problems.
The manual is an extremely rich resource for people involved in front line training for small business development.