Financial education is key to breaking the cycle of poverty and certainly to managing a business. To that end, Marina de Hercules, our financial education coordinator, led a crash course on April 18th for the Habitat homeowners on how to create and maintain a family budget and on strategies for saving money and prioritizing spending. The all-day workshop was participatory, involving dynamic group activities and adult education methodologies based on life experiences. The participants left eager to put their new knowledge into practice and fill up their piggy banks.
Marina has also been working with two different groups of families who are starting their own businesses. Four families are forming a sewing cooperative, and another three families are creating their own baking cooperative. They learned their crafts through PATI (see previous entries) and now want to use their new skills to generate more income.
In July, Marina held two workshops with these entrepreneurs, during which she taught how to create a budget and a savings plan. She also explained how to analyze earnings versus investments. When the seamstresses completed their analysis, they realized they were not earning any money at all because they had not considered the costs of equipment like scissors and fabric. They quickly adjusted the prices of their goods. In future workshops, the entrepreneurs will learn how to make a business plan, delegate responsibilities and develop long-term strategies.
–Habitat El Salvador Team