Business skills for borrowers
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CTA. 2008. Business skills for borrowers. Rural Radio Resource Pack 08/4. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57416
Training offered by the Indigenous Business Advisory Service in The Gambia.
Business skills for borrowers Cue: It?s one thing to have a good idea for a business. It?s another thing to make it a success. You will probably need some money to get started, but you will also need to make a lot of decisions. Who are your customers? Where is the best place to locate the business? When is demand highest, and how will you find, and keep, your customers? In The Gambia, the Indigenous Business Advisory Service, IBAS, has been supporting new businesses for over 30 years, giving both training and loans. Teaching business skills is a passion for Manka Sanyang, the IBAS manager, as Ismaila Senghore found out when he visited his office in Bakau. In Africa, where so many of us run small businesses of one sort or another, what are the business skills he likes to build? IN: ?Some people have their own business ? OUT: ? You are welcome.? DUR?N: 5?05? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Ismaila Senghore reporting from The Gambia. The interview comes from a resource pack produced by CTA. Transcript Sanyang Some people have their own business all right, but since the training started, people were voluntarily coming in to be trained. After they go through their training they say ?Hah! There are a lot of things that I thought I knew, but I really didn?t know. I was making a mistake all along.? Because some people cannot distinguish their personal money from their business money. They?ll be doing their business, a relative will come and say there is a christening, or somebody died. They will just pull open their drawer and take money and give it to them, and you cannot do that. You are killing your business. It is not your money, it is the business?s money. These are the things we try to emphasise. Senghore Can you please expand on the basic things that you train them on when they come? Sanyang OK we train them how to locate their business and where to locate their business. How to select their business and where to look for funding. We train them how to handle their customers. Customer relationship is very important. It defines whether you will succeed or you will fail. We also train them how to recover their loans. If you go through our training programme it exposes you to various options and then you will know all the advantages and disadvantages, and where to acquire some of your basic raw materials or things to do with the business. After knowing all that it assists you to narrow down your choices in which area to go into. Senghore Do you only deal with individuals or do you have groups? Sanyang Initially we were working with individuals, but as time goes on we started receiving requests from groups, especially female groups which we call kaffos. And then we are also helping a group of school leavers who have gone through NYSS. Senghore NYSS is the National Youth Service Scheme? Sanyang Yes. Some of their students who have acquired training either in carpentry or auto-mechanics or things of that sort. We try to establish a garage for them. We try to help them locate an area and then we help them establish a garage and then we buy the basic tools, and then provide them with a small working capital. And our extension staff are usually on the ground to monitor their progress, and they pay the loans as time goes on. Senghore You have been into this for over 30 years now, and I?m sure along the way you must have had very good examples of, let?s say first of all, a successful case. Sanyang OK, to give you a typical example of a successful case, is the poultry producers at the central prisons. They made an application. We went there and saw the area and appraised it, and then extended a loan to them. And they were able to purchase their day old chicks over there. The project was targeting the fast month. Senghore Ramadan, the month of fasting, yes. Sanyang The month of fasting. This was one of the successful cases which I?m very much proud of. These people acquired those chicks and we bought feed and gave it to them, and they also acquired drugs and treated all their chickens. And sure enough, come around Ramadan they hit the market. All their chickens were sold and they successfully paid their loan. And I encouraged them to expand, which they did. And they took a second loan and also paid it. Right now they are still operating, but they have not come to me for any additional assistance yet. Senghore Maybe they are independent now? Sanyang I hope so. This is our objective. Whoever we help, we want to see you stand on your two legs as time goes on. Senghore Now on a final note, Mr Sanyang, what lessons can one learn from the IBAS experience, if you were to transpose the IBAS experience into other Third World countries. What lessons can be learned from you? Sanyang It is a very useful lesson. You are moulding minds of the indigenous people who will become business people tomorrow. Who will become tax payers and employers of youth and other income generating for the economy. So it is very effective. Senghore Thank you very much Mr Manka Sanyang, it has been a pleasure talking to you and thank you very much for your time. Sanyang You are welcome. End of track