Job creation model
The Hand in Hand network uses a comprehensive business creation model to fight poverty. Initially developed by HiH India, it blends social mobilization, business training, credit access and market linkage support.
There are four interlinked elements that deliver the Hand in Hand approach:
1. Social mobilization
Hand in Hand helps organize people, mostly women, into Self-Help Groups (SHGs). A group typically consists of 20 members, who meet weekly with their trainers to discuss social issues and activities. Together they also begin saving money, learning financial discipline and building up a group savings fund for which they are jointly responsible.
2. Business Training
Once a group has demonstrated stability and financial responsibility, Hand in Hand provides business training in how to start, grow and sustain a small business enterprise and become an entrepreneur. Members are taken through a business development training package, which includes modules in basic bookkeeping, business development, marketing, etc. Many members are illiterate so Hand in Hand trainers often facilitate learning through pictures, parables,testimonials and songs.
3. Access to Credit
Most groups hold joint savings in local savings accounts and learn how to manage these. Should financial resources be required beyond group members’ own savings, members will be trained in credit management and offered small loans, either directly or through partners active in their area.
A typical small loan amounts to USD 100, and most members borrow more than once. Repayment rates are very high (99%). They are a testimony to the members’ ability to manage credit and businesses as well as their understanding of the long-term benefits of a good track record.
4. Value addition and market linkages
Hand in Hand provides support in improving productivity and competitiveness. This includes advice on better packaging, pricing and branding; cheaper sourcing of supplies; quality control; reliable delivery; and more effective identification of buyers andnegotiations with them.