Dear Chelsea, Thank you so much for your encouraging comments. Indeed this design has users in mind since its a build on idea rather than from scratch and implementation will continue to draw from the lessons and recommendations of the two year pilot with 90 girls, and this challenge learning(s) and input. For post program, we believe that if the $10,000 for piloting is given to us for post beneficiary evaluation to fully understand the impact of skills training on the 90 girls will be beneficial in ascertaining the sustainability on startups or youth businesses.
Our approach is a sandwich apprenticeship model of training that alternates training with periods of practice within the year, to enable trainees mobilize what they learn in the training and this why we track those able to start own businesses while still with the mentors or after.
Before matching girls with their skills mentors, the mentors are discussed with and take on the girls as potential employees after the training if the girls so wished or, as intermediary labour during the training if the girls wished to start own businesses which is our ultimate idea target. The girls are paid depending on their commitment, being fast learners and customer satisfaction and the project encourages them to save so as to raise capital to start own business.
The project trains the girls on financial literacy and encourages them to save and based on the girls' ability and field of skills set, they start to work on their own projects while still with the mentors especially those in tailoring, bakery and hair dressing. Our experience is that because mentors know and girls express their intention of studying from start, they encourage them and even connect them to their own markets.
This idea is built from a pull of switched on business women from a three year Women Mean Business project that strengthened there entrepreneurial and business skills. The project cushions the mentors Ugx 150,000 ($43 per girl /month) as cost share on the material due to waste and this acts as a motivator in addition to their access to psycho-social counselling support, quarterly meetings with them, free consultation from our business Advisors on a need basis, and marketing of their services to the wider community on project brochures etc Based on experience of last years’ $100,000 grant with 60 girls, we propose to deliver the same and to increase this, we propose to increase the number of mentors from 25 to 70 skill based mentors and this will enable us reach between 210-250 girls in year each mentor having 2-3 girls and this will require a bigger budget. The selection of the girls starts with announcements on local FM radios and community places (church, mosque, trading centers) for vulnerable girls interested in a skills training, resident of the area, willing to complete study, supportive and committed parents/guardian i.e facilitate transport of their girls etc, aged 18-24 years, with children or single. Application in writing or verbally to our staff who write and they thumb print, recommendation letters from local council leaders of the area, and then vetting is undertaken based on skills to which the project has available mentors, physical verification is undertaken and final selection made.