RACOBAO will continue to strengthen the VSLAs mainly focusing on women enterprise development, enhancement of micro-finance opportunities and promotion of women’s agency as a strong and crosscutting element. Emphasis is on identifying, supporting and enabling the smallholder women, who are already members of VSLAs, and with growth potential, to achieve scale in their enterprise activity so that they can create more employment opportunities for other women (and men). In addition to promoting business skills training and increasing access to affordable micro-finance, the WINGS project will work towards creating a more positive enabling environment by supporting women, decision-making capacity and removing the specific gender barriers that rural aspiring women entrepreneurs could face. While strengthening the women’s VSLA groups, the project aims at addressing some of the socio-cultural norms that impede non-farm enterprise growth and profitability.
RACOBAO plans to mobilise these groups to form 2 apex organisations (Savings & Credit Cooperative Organisations, SACCOs) and link them with financial institutions thus extending the capabilities of individual VSLAs and members to access larger and longer-term loans. Creating SACCOs will thus avail sustainable financing that focuses on women’s strengths and widen the economic opportunities available to them, as well as design pathways for them to link to markets, be more innovative and ensure the development and expansion of their enterprises.
RACOBAO also supports economic empowerment of women affected by HIV/AIDS through the Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA) groups methodology.