We have kept you updated on progress as we rolled out the two MBA cohorts in Haripur in September, now its time to reflect and share some of the experiences we have had, lessons we have learned and innovations we are introducing to better the lives of the entrepreneurs of circumstance we are engaged with in Haripur.
Initially we budgeted for 50 entrepreneurs of circumstance (EoC) for our MBA program for street cobblers in Haripur but team PTP working closely with local mobilizers managed to engage and mobilise a total of 70 street cobblers that were divided into two groups: 40 in cohort 1 and 30 in cohort 2.
Our local mobilizers deserve more than a mention! Ghulam Rabani and Anees Lodhi did a fantastic job mobilizing, then facilitating in the delivery of the week long MBA program and have been retained to facilitate team PTP in coaching, mentoring, monitoring and evaluation phase following the MBA.
Day 1 for both the cohorts had a similar start, the participants mobilized were on-boarded to address their curiosity, fears and trepidations which is a natural reaction to the unknown. All of which were allayed by a comprehensive introduction of Peace Through Prosperity’s objectives and the MBA tool for achieving them. The 2nd cohort was a little less apprehensive as the news and progress of the 1st cohort had travelled far and wide in the district of Haripur. Impact of the first day discussion was quite evident on the second day for both the cohorts, participant numbers for both the cohorts increased on the second day. Additionally day 2 is when we jump into the deep end with the MBA curriculum.
Day 3 and 4 are from experience days of realisation for the participants, having put the tools taught on day 2 into practice participants realise that things can indeed change for the better and with the right tools they can grow their businesses beyond their expectations and build a better future for themselves and their family.
As expected on day 4 participants expressed their views regarding the training and all the participants found their voices, group discussions centred around future prospects and strategies for growth. This change in attitudes towards their enterprise, their future, the possibility of growth and a better future for them and their families is always an uplifting moment for both the participants and team PTP.
On day 5, the last day of the MBA program we distributed stools for the street cobblers and their clients, supplies and tools among all the participants at a graduation ceremony. We have learned that a closure to the MBA program along with something to perk up their spirits further is a must, and the SWAG we had went down very well with the participants.
Lastly we had seen entrepreneurs of circumstance from our previous cohorts in Islamabad and Rawalpindi suffer at the hands of extortionate civil servants as well as been left high and dry by the courts ruling in favour of property developers, declaring their shacks on pavements as illegal encroachments. Unfortunately we were unable to help and assist the street cobblers as much as we’d like to in Islamabad and Rawalpindi but in Haripur we are not going to allow that sort of abuse of the marginalised entrepreneurs of circumstance to be made that easy.
Having already introduced the participants to the power of the collective via collective buying of supplies to get a better price from their wholesalers, we took this a step further by suggesting and stepping up to facilitate the creation of a street cobblers union in the district of Haripur.
Our participants understood and appreciated that it is essential to safeguard their social, economical and legal rights and the only way to do so against the odds is via collective voice.
We are in process of working with the participants in drafting the requisite paper work to register the union, educating them on selection, elections and the workings of a labour union and to get those street cobblers involved who have not been engaged in our MBA program.
At the moment we are continuing with the one to one coaching, monitoring and evaluation in Haripur alongside establishing a street cobblers union. We shall keep you posted on our progress and that of the individual street cobblers we are there to help and assist to secure a better future for themselves and their family.
Peace Through Prosperity’s methodology, process of engagement, in-class and on-site coaching works. We need YOUR help to raise funds to extend this program to many more street cobblers and other street based vocations in Pakistan and beyond.
To help us help the entrepreneur of circumstance please visit our website or get in touch with us to donate via a bank transfer.