Serving Clients Through Financial Education Lessons
In order to empower Honduran women to make sound business decisions, Adelante is providing financial education lessons to its clients. These important lessons will teach clients financial skills that’ll not only help them with their businesses, but will also keep them from over indebting themselves.
The new lessons cover topics critical for any businesswoman to know: budgeting, saving, and credit. Although these general topics have been touched upon previously in their business education lessons, the lectures and exercises are designed to delve deeper into the subject matter. After attending financial education training workshops, our Education Coordinator and two credit officers, trained credit officers throughout our branch offices to start putting these lessons into practice.
Credit officers providing the financial lessons use illustrated poster sets developed by REDMICROH to aid them in their delivery. Additionally, our clients have received supplementary workbooks to enhance their educational experience. These workbooks contain vital information from the lessons, so that clients can refer to them at a later time. Both the teaching materials and the supplementary workbooks include illustrations so that any women who are unable to read and write are able to understand the content.
On a Tuesday morning earlier this month, most of the women arrived earlier than usual for their assembly, in anticipation of the new financial literacy project. Their Credit Officer Gabriel was also there early, making sure that all of the supplementary workbooks were accounted for. For Gabriel, this project represents an exciting step forward with Adelante’s educational model. Before getting started, he confessed to the women that through the training he received, he realized that there was a lot he could improve upon in his own life.
Coming from Gabriel, the women knew that this would be a very beneficial lesson. A natural planner, he can provide accurate projections of clients, loan disbursements and repayments for several months at a time. The level of engagement that the women maintained during this first lesson on financial literacy is an excellent indicator of the impact that the lessons will have on their business and household financial management. Over 500 women will be participating in the pilot this year before we implement in on a larger scale next year.
Adelante believes in the importance of this financial literacy program in light of the current situation in Honduras. As the microfinance sector grows, we must ensure that the women we serve are properly informed about how to manage their money through budgeting, savings and credit.