Deline’s Gift’s graduation program is a comprehensive step-by-step approach to poverty alleviation, financial inclusion, empowerment and transformation. It supports our goal of empowering impoverished, disabled, and under-served women to pull themselves from poverty into self-sufficiency, with hope and vision for their futures. It also reflects the fact that women need intensive and sustained support and guidance to get a strong foothold on the path out of poverty.
Our graduation program is made of five phases lasting six months each (Seed, Growth, Establishment, Maturity, Graduation), for a total Program duration of 30 months.
During the program, women gain access to interest-free capital and develop knowledge and skill sets that lead to increased income, savings and quality of life. But they are held accountable for each phase and only progress to the next phase if they meet the goals of the previous phase.
Throughout the entire process, our local coordinator makes monthly visits to members to monitor their progress and provide them with guidance and encouragement.
SEED: The first phase is an incubation period lasting six months. In this phase, women are introduced to the program and given basic business management training. They are then provided with interest-free seed funding to support their micro enterprise. Women who successfully complete this phase continue onto the growth phase.
GROWTH: The second phase also lasts six months. At this stage, women are given additional business training and mentoring. The concept of business development is introduced and experienced trainers provide vocational training whereby the women learn to develop new, marketable products for their micro enterprises. This phase also features an increase in loan size.
ESTABLISHMENT: With their newfound knowledge and skills, successful members move on to the third step. At this stage, their business is established and a savings plan is developed and implemented. Women gain additional knowledge and skills through more business and vocational training. This phase also lasts six months and includes increased loan amounts.
MATURITY: By the fourth stage, members have enough skills to act as confident businesswomen. Business training has taught them the fundamentals of small business management. They have been managing their own assets and are able to make sound financial decisions. They now think beyond securing their next meal and work to hone their skills. During this phase, which also lasts six months, they are taught to plan strategically for the future of their business and are given increased loan amounts.