This evaluation tests the impacts of three interventions that were added-on to a yearlong women’s empowerment and business training program:
1) Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA) groups with program participants. Women were provided training on how to set up VSLA group governance and by-laws, conduct record-keeping, and taught example meeting procedures. The VSLA meetings were incorporated into program implementation and VSLA group leaders were given additional support. Women were defaulted into a group but had the option to leave after the first cycle share-out.
2) Group Mentorship. Meetings twice a month for six months post-graduation, with a business mentor in their same small business training cohort from the regular programming, approximately 25 women. Each session combined a space for peer-to-peer mentoring and support as well as guided facilitation to address the challenges women faced in their small businesses including reviewing processes such as keeping records, calculating profits, setting achievable goals, conducting a SWOT analysis, making a business plan, or seeking and receiving a loan.
3) Individual Mentorship. Meetings twice a month for six months post-graduation, with a business mentor one-on-one. Mentors identified challenges the mentee faced in their small businesses through conversation and observation, and developed goals for improvement and growth. Mentors guided mentees through processes such as keeping records, calculating profits, setting achievable goals, conducting a SWOT analysis, making a business plan, or seeking and receiving a loan in a one-on-one manner.