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SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA:

How to run successful income-generating projects in women-led community-based organisations.

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA:

How to run successful income-generating projects in women-led community-based organisations.

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Samenvatting

WHEAT Trust is a small organisation which provides financial and other resources to small community-based organisations (CBOs) and women to support local, rural and national initiatives throughout South Africa that would otherwise not have been able to access these on their own. Some of those organisations run income-generating projects (IGPs). WHEAT Trust tries to assist them in becoming successful and self-sustainable organisations, but would like to uphold a more structured conceptual and program framework for sustainable development and empowerment in local context. This report therefore tries to answer the following question: “What should a standardised business model look like for the income-generating community-based organisations WHEAT Trust provides grants to in order to create a more efficient and unified approach to contribute to the sustainable development of low-income communities in South Africa?” In order to answer this research question, it is imperative to gain an understanding of the social and cultural phenomena the target group has to deal with. For this purpose, qualitative research is the main strategy used and field research has been conducted among a representative group of CBOs that WHEAT Trust supports. A set of common problems as experienced by the CBOs were identified and include the following: lack of support from the government; lack of funding and access to credit; marketing; competition; financial management and absence of records; and lack of leadership and planning. From the research it can also be concluded that the grants provided by WHEAT Trust allow the organisations to overcome financial obstacles, thereby acting as an ´unlocking´ factor. Whether this is to help an organisation starting a project or to help them grow. More importantly however, all the projects appear to be functioning as a form of empowerment. The women involved in the projects are gaining skills, earning an income and consequently become more confident. Often, women involved in these projects receive the attention, space, tools and means with which to express and establish themselves as strong individuals and women. Together, the women form bonds amongst each other as well, resulting in much needed emotional support. It is therefore important to note that the effects of the grant making by WHEAT Trust are not solely financial. There are also ‘qualitative effects’, which at some point result in quantitative (financial) effects again. Research has indicated however that a standardised business model does not exist due to the fact that it has to be adjusted to fit the specific context and application. Nonetheless, there are some imperative elements which are found in the development of any existing self-reliant business model. Most important is the development of a strategic plan which helps to dictate a course of action or direction for the future and the best way to go about this and most commonly used is to develop a business plan. Despite the fact that a variety of tools and strategies already exist to guide CBOs in the successful implementation of their IGPs, unfortunately, most of these tools are not applicable to the nice market that WHEAT Trust serves – where limited to no resources are available to support them – or they tend to be overly complicated for the target audience. The researcher has therefore developed a template, adjusted to the target audience, which allows for a structured development of a business plan and consequently an appropriate business model. This would still contribute to a more efficient and unified approach to contribute to the sustainable development of low-income communities in South Africa. The business plan furthermore forces the CBOs to carry out market research, come up with a tangible market strategy, examine existing competition and requires the CBOs to create basic financial records. Guidance on how to create a proper business plan therefore immediately deals with the main problems experienced by the CBOs WHEAT Trust supports. Due to its thorough and flexible nature, it does not only deal with the main problems identified, but in fact leaves enough space to deal with other problems as well. There are several ways WHEAT Trust could start using and implementing the business plan template with their grantees. Recommendations include: piloting the model; adding it to the application criteria for a grant; introducing a platform for networking for CBOs stimulating peer learning; making the business plan requirement dependent on the type of grant (the higher the grant, the higher the requirement); and by creating an e-community for the illiterate.

Toon meer
OrganisatieHogeschool Utrecht
OpleidingInternational Business en Management
AfdelingInternational Business Studies
PartnersWHEAT Women’s Fund
Datum2014-06-26
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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