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Sustainable Microfinance Services and Micro Enterprise Promotion through Women Managed Co-operative Societies

Sustainable Microfinance Services and Micro Enterprise Promotion through Women Managed Co-operative Societies
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1. Introduction
The project builds on the successes of the 10 years of previous CCA/CMF collaboration, with the main goal of strengthening and building the sustainability of the women managed SACCOs.  This project will focus on two major areas: 1) Capacity Building of cooperatives, and 2) Networking and Linkage Building, both of which will contribute to the project outcomes of improved financial sustainability of SACCOs, and improved social performance of SACCOs.


1) Training and Capacity Building

The major components of this project will be TOT program which will train women members of SACCOs in the following topics:


A)  Member education and co-operative management training
B) Financial management training including bookkeeping and credit portfolio management
C)  Microenterprise training

These trainings will be carried out in a Training of Trainers style. There will be 56 women trained as CMF trainers, each specializing in one of three training topics.  The TOTs will also have a component of general adult training skills. Creating a core group of women trained in adult training techniques and financial and co-operative management means that women can continue to use these training skills after the life of the project. The echo trainings of these TOT program will be replicated in the community level through the partner SACCOs. Thus, the member/staffs trained through the project could be as asset to the cooperative itself. With further enhancement in their skill, they can be mobilized in central level as well, reducing the gap between men and women trainers in the country.


2) Networking and Linkage Building
Another component of this project will be to promote networking and linkages among local financial & non-financial organizations, and local government to introduce the SACCOs to organizations with different strengths incorporating the credit plus approach. Non-financial services in the form of training and awareness programs provided through the co-operatives to members enhanced their skill, which indirectly contributed to income generation of the members.

Financial sustainability of the women’s SACCOs is another major concern that this project will address. Networking and linkage workshops will be an opportunities for the women cooperatives to link with the remittance agencies, which will increase the possibility to promote it as a source of income generation amongst SACCOs. Also the SACCOs will provide loans to women to assist them in start-up microenterprises and will be a place where women can invest their savings, both of which will contribute to the financial sustainability of the SACCO. 
Thus, the project focuses on advancing women’s understanding of co-operative and active participation in the co-operative sector of Nepal.


2. Goal
To increase women’s access to sustainable financial services, resulting in decreased financial vulnerability and poverty.

3. Project Objective
To build the capacity of 57 SACCOs, through training, technical assistance and linkage building, which will result in increased self reliance and ability to provide effective services to members. 


4. Expected results:

• Improved financial sustainability of SACCOs, as a result of improved financial management as well as linkages between SACCOs and remittance agencies or loan providers and increase of revenue of SACCOs through microenterprise development training    


• Improved effectiveness of service provision to members as a result of improved financial management and improved knowledge of SACCO leaders, as well as linkages with non-financial organizations and networking amongst the co-operatives.

• Improved social performance of SACCOs (Viable co-operatives provide, timely, relevant and gender-sensitive programs and services to members)
• Increased service provision through non-financial organizations (Participating Co-operatives have better institutional linkages)
• Financial Management of Co-operatives is improved


• Participating co-ops are trained in best practices in financial management.
• Coordinated activities are undertaken by participating cooperatives
• SACCO members have knowledge and access to non-financial opportunities (Women are offered relevant livelihood and business enhancing skills, activities and services)


5. Project Funding Partners
Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) – Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Canada