‘Tinyuka Urashoboye’ to eradicate poverty

August 29th, 2022

I love Tinyuka Urashoboye (step up because you can) programs where women entrepreneurs explain what they do in their businesses, and share the secrets they use in order to succeed. I watch the TV shows on RTV and read news articles. Most women say that their success is due to having self-confidence.

I have often wondered how I can contribute to women’s empowerment. So, I’m really delighted and excited that I have now finally got that opportunity!

Three Mountains Learning Advisors has been contracted by CARE Rwanda to develop digital training materials for 2,000 female entrepreneurs, all members of mature Village Savings and Loan (VSL) groups in Nyanza, Huye, Gisagara, and Nyamagabe Districts.

We will digitize the CARE training manuals on basic entrepreneurship skills. These materials will help women to understand how to run a business successfully.

At Three Mountains we do not create courses by just sitting at our desks, using paper-based printed manuals. We want to develop materials that the target group understands well, which are enjoyable and easy to learn from. Before developing anything new, we first go and visit our end-users. We talk to them, and get to know them; we see how they live and carry out their business activities so that we can understand the kinds of challenges they face. Only then can we start designing the training materials that ‘speak’ to them in a language that they understand.

I travelled with my colleagues and staff from CARE to Nyanza. We visited groups of women entrepreneurs and the VSL groups. We talked at length to six women entrepreneurs who are running different types of businesses. It was really interesting and enjoyable. They were pleased to share their experiences and challenges with us, and we got a good impression of their working conditions, their level of knowledge and their learning needs.

They told us that they had received some training on entrepreneurship in the past, but most of those courses were quite theoretical and did not have any follow-up. As a result, the training had a limited impact on how their businesses were running.   

We realized that our approach to developing training materials has to be very practical, truly localized, as interactive as possible, and with a longer follow-up period in the field.  The good news is that CARE has already planned to establish a permanent network of business coaches who will be able to follow up on our training courses. Training those coaches will also be part of our assignment with CARE. We will all work together to make this training programme a success.

The women told us they want to be trained on how to set goals, write a business plan and manage a business or project; how to become more self-confident; how to use good book-keeping practices and manage money efficiently. They need to learn how to keep their business income separate from family income. They want to work with a business partner, deal with competitors, and customers and motivate their staff. They want to work well with financial institutions, learn how to carry out market research, and where to look for advice and mentors.

We are now creating storyboards for a set of courses. We will then go back into the field again, to Nyanza, Gisagara, Huye, and Nyamagabe, to shoot the videos we need to include in our courses. The video will help to inspire our learners throughout their learning journey.

We hope to be able to update you about the results of our work in the next newsletter.                              

Clemence Ineza