How far can you stretch $7?
Last year 24 men and women from poor neighborhoods in Nouakchott participated in Doulos’ first intensive business training course known as Dynamic Business Start-up Project (DBSP).
Each student used 2000 ouguiyas of their own money (about $7USD) as capital in some kind of small money-making activity. Students applied the basic business principles they had learned, and in three weeks their total combined profit was $840, all on $175 of start-up capital!
Students have benefitted from ongoing coaching, encouragement, and monitoring of their businesses since the initial 5 week course. Follow-up reports indicate that nineteen of the original 24 business are still operating over a year later, and 13 have been consistently profitable throughout the year.
This is a much higher success rate than has been typically seen in the poor communities of Nouakchott. Oftentimes, family pressures or unexpected health expenses will force a business owner to liquidate after only a couple of months. Students consistently testify that one of the greatest benefits of DBSP has been learning how to track their expenses, to save, and to reinvest a percentage of profits back into their business. These simple concepts have proved to be key in helping them succeed in their business launches.
To date, Doulos has facilitated three intensive DBSP courses. While most of the students’ businesses remain small, we are confident of their continued longevity, profitability, and potential to transform families and communities!