Understanding the impact of our grants

Sep 25, 2014

UPPR has in its project life disbursed over seven thousand grants under its Socio-Economic Fund (SEF). Urban poor households have received these for education support, small-business development and apprenticeships. Understanding the impact that these grants have had on people is a priority for UPPR. In 2014, UPPR undertook a short term outcome study of both its block grants and apprenticeship grants. These are some of the findings from the businesses still running by the time of the survey. More detailed findings will be shared in a full report in the second half of 2014.

Block grant

A sample of 660 women was drawn. However, 20 were unavailable and a further 39 had migrated leaving a working sample of 601 women. From this, the survey showed that at the time of receiving the grant 48.4 per cent was to start a new business while 42.6 per cent were being supported on their existing business.

From the sample of women that received the block grant, nine per cent of women either did not start the business or were missing values. Out of the total sample of women who began their business in either 2012 or 2013, 84.9 per cent were still in business at the time of survey in May and June 2014.

  • The majority of women said their business was open seven days a week (84%) while most worked more than 8 hours a day (50.7%).

  • Two out of five women have at least one other person working in their business (42.3%) but only 10% of these people are paid. This suggests the informal nature of the businesses, which is also reflected in findings that 71% of businesses operate from home or a roadside; only 1.2% of businesses are formally registered; and only 12.8% have a formal bank account beyond the savings and credit group (business, personal, or mobile accounts). Four out of five women do not keep any written financial records of their business.

  • Ninety per cent of women still running their business stated that they had income that they could spend as they chose as a result of their business earnings. Fifty seven per cent of these women said this was the first time they had such income.

  • Fifty nine per cent of women also said they were able to save money from their business earnings and for 70% of these women this was the first time that they had saved income.

  • One in five women had taken a loan to support their business (22.5%). Just over half had taken this loan from the UPPR savings and credit group (53.9%) while a further 33.9% had used a microfinance institution.

  • Nearly half of all women had invested their own money in their business (49.8%).

  • 54.1% of the women whose businesses were operating cited a lack of credit as their biggest problem and 89.8% identified support accessing credit as the main support they need to strengthen the business.

Apprenticeships grants

UPPR sought to survey 615 women and men who were supported in receiving skills training with the apprenticeship grant in 2012 and 2013. Of these, 14.3 per cent had migrated by the time of the survey in 2014.

Of the remaining 527 apprentices, 69.1 per cent were women. Three out of four apprentices were aged between 18 and 29 years and two out of five had not been educated past primary level. However, in an unexpected finding one in three apprentices reported that they were either self- employed or in full-time employment when they received the grant (35.4%). An additional 11.3 per cent were part-time employed. It is not known whether the training was used to change career direction or to support skill development in the same field.

  • The vast majority of apprentices reported that they had completed their training (95.8%). 

  • Just under three in four apprentices were still in employment six months after completing their training (72.5%). This included those who were working within a business and those who were self-employed. Ten per cent were unemployed and twelve per cent were engaged in education, home duties or were unable to work for personal reasons. 

  • Just 11.7 per cent of apprentices who finished their training reported receiving support from the CDC in finding a job.

  • Of those apprentices who completed their training, 29.9 per cent would like more technical training and 28.3 per cent would like more support accessing credit.

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