Making Cents’ high quality technical services and curricula have proven their effectiveness in a variety of contexts around the world. They have increased the business skills and economic opportunities of youth, women, entrepreneurs, and vulnerable populations. Click on a region to view descriptions of our projects.
Spreading Youth-Inclusive Financial Services Promising Practices
YouthStart builds on UNCDF's commitment to financial inclusion by increasing access to financial services for low-income youth (ages 12-24) in Sub-Saharan Africa. Making Cent supported UNCDF's YouthStart program by providing training in youth-inclusive market research and designing youth-appropriate financial and non-financial services. Participants in the training came from Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Togo, Benin, Senegal, and Mali.
Strengthening Economic Support for At-Risk Children
Making Cents is working on an economic strengthening and child protection project by providing business skills training to reach VSLA group members. Making Cents is working with International Rescue Committee and local partner FODEV to certify 18 trainers on Making Cents’ MicroEnterprise Fundamentals (MEF) curriculum. Follow-on trainings will contribute to expanding the child and youth protection and development sector in Burundi.
Making Cents’ French business training curriculum, Espirit d’Enterprise, is being used by Peace Corps volunteers who are supporting the development of local enterprises in Cameroon.
Building Relevant Technical, Entrepreneurial, Financial Literacy and Agribusiness Skills for Key Value Chain Actors
The overall goal of USAID's DRC Food Production, Processing and Marketing (FPPM) activity is to increase food security and reduce poverty in the DRC by increasing agricultural productivity, improving market efficiency, and developing the capacity to respond to market opportunities. Under this initiative, Making Cents is 1) developing experiential learning-based materials that build relevant technical, entrepreneurial, financial literacy and agribusiness skills for smallholder producers and other key value chain actors in the value chain; 2) building sustainable capacity within NGOs, other local organizations and enterprises working in the select value chains to institutionalize training and capacity building to bring the FPPM curriculum to the target beneficiaries; and 3) linking farmers to village savings and credit for banking and refinancing.
Improving Business Skills
Making Cents has provided business skills training and training-of-trainer capacity building for various clients in Ghana, including Womenkind, Camfed, and OIC International.
Expanding Livelihoods for Youth in Cocoa Communities
Making Cents developed a livelihoods curriculum and training for out-of-school youth in cocoa growing communities in Ghana. Sponsored by the World Cocoa Foundation the customized curriculum creates a better understanding of the role of cocoa in the training participants’ communities, the value chain of cocoa from the farm to the consumer, and non-farming business opportunities related to cocoa. Read more...
Integrating Ex-Combatants Back into Society
Making Cents supported the America Refugee Committee’s Preventative Activities and Training that Works for At-Risk Youth Project to integrate marginalized youth and ex-combatants back in to the mainstream of society through economic empowerment and opportunities. Read more...
Ensuring Opportunities for Women and Youth in High Value Horticulture Value Chains
Making Cents is working with Fintrac on USAID's Kenya Horticulture Competitiveness Project (KHCP) to boost the capacity of the project’s BDS providers, agronomists, and farmer group organizers to more effectively reach and engage women and youth. Specifically, Making Cents has facilitated KHCP’s development of set of guiding principles that drive its youth and gender inclusion approach, and have supported the identification of specific youth and gender inclusion opportunities across KHCP’s main value chains (sweet potatoes, passion fruit, and market vegetables). In addition, Making Cents has used results from a needs assessment to develop a curriculum that focuses on entrepreneurship and value chain skills for rural youth, along with pragmatic youth-inclusive training methods for project staff and BDS providers.
Building Local Capacity to support Agriculture-focused Enterprises and Youth Entrepreneurs
Under USAID’s P.L. 480 Title II Liberia Agriculture Upgrading Nutrition and Child Health (LAUNCH) program, Making Cents is providing technical assistance and building local capacity to support input suppliers and agents, small agriculture-related enterprises, and youth entrepreneurs. Specifically, Making Cents will be working with local organizations to offer relevant agriculture enterprise, value chain, and basic entrepreneurship training to both in-school and out-of-school youth and women in rural areas; and increase linkages among value chain businesses (particularly rural women- and youth-owned businesses) in new markets.
Supporting the Development of Youth-Friendly Financial Service Products
After attending Making Cents’ training in youth-inclusive market research, Opportunity International (OI) produced a market research report that won funding from UNCDF’s Youth Start Program to develop a financial service product for young people. MCI is now working with OI to facilitate a product design workshop with senior bank staff and will then test the product concept with young people. Opportunity International provides small business loans, savings, insurance and training to more than 2.5 million people working their way out of poverty in the developing world.
Building Business Services in Rural Areas
Working with the USAID Malawi SALES Project, Making Cents strengthened the capacity of local service providers in Malawi to deliver quality and targeted business skills training to agribusinesses throughout the country.
Improving Support Services to Farmers
As part of the USAID-funded Mali Finance Project, Making Cents designed a three-year training plan for the agriculture sector in Mali. To assist this plan, Making Cents supported the development of Malian business service providers with the creation of a customized curriculum: Run a Stronger Consulting Firm.
Expanding Market Reach for Women Agricultural Processors
Making Cents is working with the USAID-funded Integrated Initiatives for Economic Growth in Mali (IICEM) program, and its local partners to increase the productivity and revenue of women agricultural processors, who play a significant role in Malian agricultural value chains. Making Cents is building the capacity of local partners to deliver training on the MicroEnterprise Fundamentals (MEF) and Agricultural Enterprise curricula that has been adapted to the local context. As a result, women will be better able to manage their enterprises, maximize the use of existent markets, and identify new opportunities on a regional level.
YES! To Entrepreneurship
Making Cents built community trust, understanding, and ownership in the enterprise training through our MicroPlan™ curriculum, which was implemented in local schools in Niger through the Academy for Educational Development’s Youth Education and Self-Reliance Program.
Opening Markets to Agribusinesses
Making Cents developed an innovative agriculture enterprise development curriculum that engages small-scale producers and processors as well as input suppliers on how to take a more commercially oriented approach to their activities. The curriculum, together with the training of trainer course, is creating a more demand-driven mentality within the associations and with other service providers. Under the USAID MARKETS project, Making Cents has also been contracted to support the scale up of training to reach 250,000 farmers within one year as part of the World Bank's FADAMA III initiative.
Supporting Caregivers of AIDS Orphans
Under the USAID MARKETS program, Making Cents is providing enterprise development skills training to partner organizations working with caregivers of orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) under the USAID PEPFAR Family Nutritional Support Program (FNSP). Making Cents is building the capacity of implementing partners across four states by imparting a series of training of trainer (TOT) workshops. A component of this training includes homestead farming - looking at the home-based farm as an income generating activity and/or a source of daily nutritional value. The FSNP has trained 24,000 caregivers to benefit over 100,000 OVCs across 12 states in Nigeria.
Creating Sustainable Income-Generating Activities for Groups Affected by HIV & AIDS
Making Cents providing training on our Cooperative Business Fundamentals™ curriculum for HIV/AIDS groups supported by CHF International. The development and implementation of this course by Making Cents ensures that CHF’s HIV/AIDS income-generating activities are implemented through viable, market-driven cooperatives. Read more...
Opportunities for In- and Out-of-School Youth
The USAID Education Priorite Qualite (EPQ) project is helping Senegalese youth develop a range of qualifications that will help them find and keep jobs through improved basic education competencies, life skills, technical expertise, and career awareness. Making Cents is supporting the EPQ project with RTI International by developing and delivering entrepreneurship and business skills, agribusiness and market opportunities training for in- and out-of-school youth through school and after school programs, summer camps, and NGO or community supported programming.
Improving the Livelihoods of Youth
Making Cents provided Plan International with program design, curriculum and capacity building services to their national office and local partner organizations supporting Plan's regional program to help children and youth with access to financial services, business development technical support, and life-skills development. Read more...
Supporting Enterprise Development in Senegal
Making Cents provided microenterprise development curriculum in French, and trained a network of 600 trainers from local organizations in Senegal including: business associations, financial institutions, local consulting firms, NGOs, women’s associations, schools, training centers, government agencies and the Peace Corps. Through the training and expanded services the local consultants and organizations provided; thousands of entrepreneurs across the country have increased their understanding of business, improved their businesses, and increased their income.
A Tool for Enterprise Development Volunteers
Making Cents’ French business training curriculum, Espirit d’Enterprise, is being used by Peace Corps volunteers supporting the development of local enterprises in Senegal.
Rebuilding from Conflict
Making Cents provided sustained training-of-trainer courses in our MicroEnterprise Fundamentals™ and Work Out™ curricula for local partners of the American Refugee Committee who were working with youth in Sierra Leone.
Improving the Livelihoods of Youth
Making Cents is providing Plan International with program design, curriculum and capacity building services to their national office and local partner organizations in support of Plan’s regional program to support working children and youth access financial services, business development technical support, and life-skills development. Read more...
Reducing the Use of Child Labor in South Africa
Making Cents provided a youth training-of-trainers program to the Reducing Child Labour in South Africa RECLISA) Project, managed by the American Institutes for Research. Making Cents provided capacity building to RECLISA projects in Southern Africa through the delivery of an adapted and translated microenterprise training curriculum and an accompanying facilitators training course. Training materials were adapted to the local context and translated in to three different Southern Africa languages: Setswana, Sesotho, and Siswati. Read more...
Market Assessment Skills for West African Youth
For Plan Togo, Making Cents designed a youth business skills and entrepreneurship program for out-of-school youth in Togo. The project design targeted youth aged 12 – 18, and led to the piloting of a market assessment curriculum for youth in several West African countries.
Providing State-of-the-Art BDS in Eastern and Southern Africa
The SEEP Network contracted Making Cents to co-facilitate the provision of their Business Development Services (BDS) market development course, which is designed for practitioners, program design staff, and donors. The ‘State of the Art in BDS’ Market Development course, held in Uganda, was attended by participants from countries throughout eastern and southern Africa. The course emphasized the understanding and application of principles and practices for individual programs.
Connecting Rural Women to Market Information and Opportunities
Making Cents was contracted to develop the enterprise training component of the Grameen Foundation USA and the Academy for Educational Development’s dot-ORG’s pilot Village Phone Project. The purpose of the project was to bring telecommunications services to rural Uganda and enable poor women to establish sustainable information and communications technologies-based enterprises.
Reintegrating Youth Refugees
Making Cents made a youth adaptation to our MicroEnterprise Fundamentals™ curriculum and delivered a training-of-trainers course for the American Refugee Committee’s Preventative Activities and Training that Works for At-Risk Youth Project.
Supporting the Financial Literacy of Adolescent Girls
Under the Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program (AGEP), Population Council is working with DFID to develop a holistic package of social, economic, and health interventions to adolescent girls ages 10-19, replicating an adolescent girls’ empowerment program through lessons learned from Kenya and Uganda. Population Council is working with local partners to provide safe spaces and mentors for girls to meet weekly, build social capital, and receive a variety of interventions including health services, access to savings accounts, and financial education. In conjunction with Population Council, Making Cents is developing a tailored savings product alongside a local financial services provider, and will adapt a financial education program to fit the local context.
In support of Population Council, Making Cents’ role is to provide technical assistance to a financial services provider in Zambia in order to conduct market research, design a suitable financial product and financial education curricula for the target market, pilot and roll-out the product, and monitor the success of the product. To date, Making Cents visited with partners in Zambia to undertake an institutional assessment of the National Savings & Credit Bank (NatSave), the financial services partner in country. NatSave, which offers a range of savings and loan products, aims to reach 10,000 adolescent girls by the end of 2015. In early 2012, Making Cents carried out an initial round of market research designed both to shed light on vulnerable girls' income and spending patterns, current savings practices, and perceptions of banks; and to feed into a prototype design workshop to be conducted with NatSave. For more information, click here.