Teaching women how to fish, rather than giving them fish.
Borrowing from a Chinese proverb, Women of Will empowers women to initiate and sustain their own small businesses, rather than providing handouts. The women are given financial assistance of RM2000 to help them initiate small business ventures and attain an independent livelihood income. The amount is repaid on a weekly basis, interest-free.
To help equip the women with the necessary skills to run their businesses, they are trained in an Entrepreneurial Development Program and taught the basics skills of managing a business, including financial management, marketing, and communications. Additionally, each woman is assigned a business coach and mentor for 6 -12 months to guide them and ensure that they have the support needed to develop a sustainable business, as well as help them lead balanced and wholesome lives. The funds repaid by the women form the revolving fund which is then used to fund and help other disadvantaged women and their communities. This model is an adaptation of Professor Mohd Yunus’ Grameen Model.
The funds repaid by the women form a revolving fund which is then used to fund and help other disadvantaged women and their communities. This model is an adaptation of Professor Mohd Yunus’ Grameen Model.
About the Grameen Banking System
Professor Muhammad Yunus is the 2006 Nobel Peace Laureate of Bangladesh who was also awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.
The Grameen Banking System (GBS) is a micro-credit financing model which gives loans to women without any collateral or guarantee. The system was introduced in 1976 in Bangladesh and today has been replicated in more than 150 countries, including Malaysia. More than 98% of the borrowers are women who borrow the money for income generation projects. Women borrowers form groups of 5 to 10 on a group lending basis and repay the loan on a weekly basis under a closely supervised and established banking system.
The GBS has alleviated poverty and lifted more than 68% of the women borrowers above the poverty line. Women under the GBS strictly adhere to the 16 Decisions which is a “way of life” professed under the Grameen Model.