Empowerment through Enterprise: A training manual for non-government organizations

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This manual has been written to help those involved in providing training to NGO staff and others, whose job it is to assist poor people to start or sustain micro-enterprises. The emphasis of the book is on NGO staff but some parts of the book are equally useful for training government staff, bankers or employees of private enterprises which run programmes to help micro-enterprises. NGOs are themselves enterprises and many are badly mismanaged. They may not have up to date accounts or accurate records of who owes them money; they may fail to communicate effectively with their clients or their financiers. It is particularly important that those who are engaged in training or advising poor people to start and run micro enterprises should be able to demonstrate the same skills themselves in the management of their own organisations.

For this reason, the sessions in the ten and a half day course outlined in this book, lead from the consideration of the management of micro enterprises to the management of the NGOs themselves. There are no sessions about participatory rural appraisal or needs assessment or project appraisal. This book is based on what is felt to be a more genuinely participatory approach in that it aims to help train NGO staff to help poor people do what they want to do. Detailed notes are provided for each session, together with any handouts that are required, e.g. for a case study or exercise. Session topics include:

  • Generating business ideas
  • Business planning
  • The financial reality of an enterprise
  • The practical use of business figures
  • How to obtain business information in the field
  • Women in micro enterprise
  • Group or individual enterprises?
  • Introduction to marketing
  • What do goods and services cost?
  • rates of return and the cost of money
  • Finance and strategy for NGOs

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