Business Incubation Program for Women Home-Based Workers


Background

In Pakistan home-based workers are not recognized as regular employees, hence they do not receive minimum wages and are often abused when it comes to payment for their daily work. Young girls of age 6 to 14 are working and helping their mothers in making and finishing the tasks assigned to them by the middleman against extremely low remuneration while working 12-16 hours daily under conditions that are frequently harsh, unhealthy, and hazardous. These home-based workers are present in various trades including glass bangle, footwear, embroidery, garments, handicrafts, sports goods, surgical instruments, toys, fisheries, cleaning, packing and packaging of different products. They are one of the exploited segments of the 60 million workforces in Pakistan.

The purpose of this sub-grant is to link the interventions undertaken in Grant Cycle 7 titled "Enhancing Women's Economic Empowerment" to get compound results and impact. IBA will thus, develop curriculum targeting the GEP supported home-based workers under grant cycle 7in Karachi and Quetta. Through the sub-grant, the home-based women workers and other beneficiaries will be strengthened through enhancement of market specific knowledge, skill enhancement trainings and networking and entrepreneurial skills to further improve their opportunities of improving their livelihoods and taking their learnings from cycle 7 to a higher level.

Project Description

IBA CED in collaboration with Aurat Foundation & US Aid initiated a Women Entrepreneurship Program for home-based workers. The program aims to provide business education and support services to home based women who belong to underprivileged areas of Karachi, Hyderabad and Quetta.

The proposed intervention was to develop an entrepreneurship development program for a total of 100 beneficiaries who are home-based workers identified by the Gender Equity Program (GEP) from their previous grant cycle. The program will build upon the training given to the beneficiaries in the cycle GC 7 under the GEP program.

  • A 4-month project would encapsulate theory as well as hand-on-exercises to further help these skilled workers and to set new direction for them to start their own small/medium size businesses. The program further aimed to connect IBA's Women Entrepreneurship Program alumni, who are women business owners having an experience of running their businesses from more than two years with this program participants. We believe such collaboration will result in synergies as well as help identify opportunity for alliances and building networks

An initial period of two months will be spent on research and developing the right curriculum for the program and another one month for the translation of the curriculum. During the course the participants will also be exposed to different functional areas of business such as marketing, basic accounting and book -keeping, operations, work ethics, law and basic IT skills. The program will be conducted by the trainers present in IBA's panel all of them are experts in their areas of expertise.

The curriculum was designed based on the TNA recommendations. The entire curriculum was designed in Urdu to facilitate the participants. The teaching methodology included a mixture of theory and experiential learning.

The 12 module trainings are as follows:

  • Entrepreneurial Mindset Development
  • Business Model Canvas
  • IT Skills
  • Marketing
  • Operations Management
  • Basic Finance Concepts in Business Context
  • Managing People
  • Soft Skills
  • Accounting
  • Law
  • Growth Strategies
  • Development Refinement and Presentation of Business Action Plan