As a continuation from the 2012 Women Skills Development sessions, Africa Unite resumed training under this project on 24 January 2013 at the Beta Life Community Hall in Samora Machel with 30 women in attendance.
With the aim of breaking through women’s economic isolation and enabling them to become self-reliant, the third training session began with a song and prayer by the ladies. The women started the session by sharing their holiday experiences and following up on their last session in 2012. Some shared that they have been thinking long and hard about what businesses they want to do. A few ideas involved creche Spaza shops and saloons, while others were still debating.
The facilitator delved right into the lessons of the day:
- Business Functions/Activities: Human resources, Activity, Marketing, Finance and Operations
- Elements of Marketing: 4 Ps and Marketing Mix
- Marketing Planning and Plan
- Markets, Market Research, and Identifying Target Market
The highlight of this session was when the facilitator gave the women different scenarios and asked them to state whether the people in the scenarios had carried out any form of market research. It was interesting to note how the women asked each other the right questions such as: “Did this person identify a need before just ordering stock?” One woman argued that it does not matter whether or not you carry out market research as long as you know you can sell the goods. This led to a discussion which was concluded by the ladies agreeing that when in business, one has to take risks, but they should always be calculated and well thought out. This is because if you fail to sell the goods, then you will have made a loss.
The women were attentive and asking questions. One woman asked the facilitator what is the difference between marketing and a market if there was a difference at all. It was interesting to note was that she got her answer from her fellow participants, who at the beginning of the project, did not have much information about business but now display business knowledge.
To close the session, the women were asked to summarise what they had learned in the session.
One woman thanked the facilitator for teaching the 4Ps (Product, People, Promotion and Place.) She said that she really understood how a business can fail if one does not carefully consider these four important factors. The majority of the women told the facilitator that they did not know about the 4Ps.
Another woman said that she now understood why her business failed as she once tried to start a business. She realised that there was no promotion and the place was wrong because she did not have money to go to where the people (customers) were.
The women were given the following home work:
Go into your local community and do some research. Identify the needs of the people in the community. List the needs objectively in a grid.
The next session will be on Thursday 31 January 2013 at the Beta Life Community Hall from 9 am to 3 pm.
For more pictures click here.