On September 26th, HNP partnered with the local Procter and Gamble (P&G) Finance Department to put on a business planning seminar for its Savings and Credit Cooperative Organization (SACCO) members. In an effort to build financial and business literacy among the 1200 member SACCO, representatives from 35 groups, including HNP managers and the Community Coordinating Committee, were taught business planning skills as well as encouraged to be more proactive in accumulating their own savings for their economic empowerment.
The HNP SACCO draws the majority of its membership from the slums of Kibera, most of whom have gradually accumulated savings and started receiving loans either for new enterprises or expanding pre-existing ones. However, most members lack adequate business skills. The seminar’s 40 attendees learned more about the basics of business plans, including accounting, P&L management, financial forecasting, marketing, and capital/funding requirements. Led by Lacopo Pazzi, presenters kept participants engaged with skills development activities, open discussion, and project presentations.
To cap it off, P&G is sponsoring a business plan competition for the participants. With economic prosperity and a 40,000 Ksh cash prize in mind, attendees were very motivated to the commercial and financial details of building a business. They had 10 weeks to create the plans, and just last week attendees submitted proposals covering various kinds of business, including herbal medicine, detergent making, water vending, restaurants, cosmetics, beekeeping, bureau services, charcoal briquettes, gyms, and children's homes. Such enthusiasm and the high quality of submissions have demonstrated the high value of the training. Through the whole process, organizers are also collecting information on specific training needs for SACCO members, so that future training can be even more targeted.
The seminar also helped market the Town Centre services and educate members on the importance of clean water. We hope that they will spread the message to their fellow members and the community at large. Competition winners are to be announced at the start of the New Year. We are excited to see the outcome of all their hard work!
By Lillian Oyugi, HNP Sacco Oversight Manager