EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES TOWARDS SELF SUSTAINABILITY
Every individual and community should have the opportunity to reach their potential. Women of Will (WOW) believes in helping communities tap into their potential and transform themselves through entrepreneurial proactiveness, risk-taking and innovation. WOW functions on the platform to Transform, Enhance, Cultivate and Harness the elements imperative to championing the self-sustainability pursuit in disadvantaged communities. WOW focuses on empowering disadvantaged women as they form the nucleus of a family, through interest free micro credit financing.
Based on the Grameen model, and contextualised for Malaysia to target women from the poorest of poor (“POP”) communities in Malaysia interested in setting up a business, the micro credit financing support provided by WoW is supplemented with a business coaching element to develop skills and build capacity within these women and communities.
From 2011 till 2014, WOW has given 62 Women-In-Needs (WINs) loans to start-up businesses. Out of the 62 WINs, 43 WINs (69.35%) are still actively doing business. In 2013, 16 WINs were provided to women identified and selected from the Poorest of the Poor (PoP) communities through interview sessions and house visits. A total of RM32,000 was disbursed and a 100% loan repayment rate has been achieved.
During the year, WOW volunteers also provided business coaching for the WINs for 6 months. These volunteers are first trained in business coaching prior to them providing coaching to the WINs.
WOW also collaborated with a new partner institution, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UNISZA), Kuala Terengganu, to conduct courses encompassing Entrepreneurship Management in Klang for 2 weekends per month over a period of 3 months (12 sessions), which were attended by 25 WINs.
With the support of and partnership with corporate, government or non-governmental organisations, Women Of Will looks towards reaching out to more communities and women in need, expanding support offered, and successfully transforming the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged women and their families.