Empowerment of Women

					The experience of Mauritius


        57th Congress in Cameroon
              23-30 October, 2009
                       Aline Wong
   Food Crisis
    ◦ Increase in household food budget (CSO)
     -   higher prices of meat and sugar;
     -   higher prices of some ready-made clothing;
     -   higher prices of gasoline and diesel; and
     -   lower prices of milk.
   International economic Crisis
    ◦ Retrenchment in EPZ (figures)
   Elimination trade protection
    ◦ Increased competition with China in garment
    ◦ Fall of 36% in sugar prices
   Increasing oil prices
    ◦ Increase of 15-20% of operational costs of enterprises
      without being able pas on cost increases on their
      products
   A concrete approach to address increasing
    poverty pressures in a context of economic
    downturn and uncertainty , and restricted
    public funds.
   Review of personal income tax regime
   Introduction of a campment tax
   Review of cost of annual lease of government
    land
   Corporate tax maintained at 15% , but with an
    additional commitment of 2% for Corporate
    Social Responsibility projects
   Restructuring of MRA
   Tax on residential property
   Donor agencies
   Soft loans negotiated with major trade
    partners
   Job fairs for unemployed groups affected by
    retrenchment ( June 2007 onwards)
   Workfare programme since (Feb 2009
    onwards)
   Mix of work and training scheme
   Placement for training programme
   Espace des metiers (Oct 2009)
   Faster business registration (3 days)
   Special Programme for Unemployed Women
   Budget of Rs1 billion (about US$40 million)
    ◦ Mix of assistance and soft loans for group projects

   Objective: To reduce imports in the island and
    achieve food sufficiency

   Public private partnership: Sugar companies have
    made about 400 hectares of land available to the
    government

   Farmers who register with the programme and
    would also get technical advice to operate in an
    industrial approach.
Constraints         Actions undertaken
Access to credit    DBM : 9%, MPCB: 8.5%, Bank One: 11.35%, ownership of
                    immovable property no longer a condition + CSR
Access to land      Food Security Fund programme: Support for land clearing
                    and soft loans for start-up expenditures (building,
                    purchase of animals) + access to land
Access to           Sensitisation and mobilisation through Women Centers,
information         regional workfare and entrepreneurship programmes,
                    sensitisation of socio-cultural groups and NGOs, hotline,
                    regular radio ads + development of dedicated radio
                    programme for women empowerment
Access to tailor-   Support for project preparation and assessment of
made business       feasibility
development         Focus on innovation (products, services)
assistance          Structuring of “filieres” to enable business and
                    employment creation
                    Funding of capacity building programmes (less theoretical,
                    more practical )
                    Institution of a mentoring scheme for start-ups
Stages                Issues                             Needs
Orientation towards   Assessment of skills set /         Skills / aptitudes test
work                  aptitudes / interests
                      Availability - time                Personal profiling for commitments
                      Limited knowledge of work          Information sharing about
                      requirements                       industry, basic pay rates , rights
                                                         etc.
                      Ability to handle new challenges
                                                         Life skills / marketing of own
                                                         services
Entrepreneurship      Low innovation in products         Review product development cycle
orientation
                      Training not related to business   Encourage market testing
                      realities                          Action learning, capacity building
                                                         in direct sales, support for
                                                         preparation of first brochures
                      Limited capacity in preparing
                      bankable projects                  Facilitate project preparation
Successfully          Close monitoring to avoid          Mentoring
obtained credit       teething problems
                      Sustained capacity building        Negotiations, small business
                                                         management, finance etc.
   Failure of pure re-skilling
    ◦ Re-skilling needs to be accompanied by internships
    ◦ Training and placement mechanism enables
      provides an entry into enterprises with
      opportunities of employment offers

   Need for Life Skills in order to reinforce
    ◦ Self confidence
    ◦ Endurance
    ◦ Facilitate reorganisation of family life and allow
      enterprise level access
   Support to SMEs facing finanical difficulties
    due to the global financial crisis by way of
    equity supporting working capital
    requirements in the restructuring process.
    ◦ Government participates at 75% in the restructuring
      process and
    ◦ The SME injects 25%
   Leasing facilities for acquisition and
    modernisation of equipments
    ◦ Lending rate at 8.5%
    ◦ Max lease amout of Rs 50 mn
    ◦ Initial down-payment of 10%
   SMEs in manufacturing and tourism sectors
    facing a reduction in their turnover may
    obtain financial assistance for training offered
    to their employees as an alternative to lay off
    their workers at shop floor level (rank and file
    and first line supervisors)
   An opportunity for an unemployed to gain an
    in-company placement coupled with a work-
    related formal training so as to make them
    employable
   Booster loan of the Development Bank of
    Mauritius
    ◦ RoI: 9%
    ◦ Up to Rs 100,000

   Mauritius Post and Cooperatives Bank
    ◦ RoI: 8.5%
    ◦ Rs 40,000 per person, up to Rs 400,000 for projects
      involving 10 women

   Bank One
    ◦ RoI: 11.35%
    ◦ Rs 50,000 – Rs 500,000
Mushroom Cultivation




                         From spores to mushroom bags

                         Mushroom bags sold to women
                                        entrepreneurs

                       Mushroom cultivated bought back
                                      and sold to hotels

                            Self sustainable without any
                          Government grant or technical
                                                 support
• Electricity services
• Plumbing services
• Home
  maintenance
• Gardening etc.
   Exchange of
    information and
    advice with
    experienced
    mentors

   Business
    planning and
    project follow-
    up assistance

   Financial
    contribution of
    10% by
    beneficiary
• Access to
  information
• One stop shop with
  all institutions
• 9,000 mobilised in
  2 yrs
Understanding the
 aspirations, interests,
 dreams and constraints of
 each individual
The different
faces of start-
   ups
                                • 3 days of direct
                                  sales training
                                • 4 days of
                                  participation in fair
                                • Instigating a taste
                                  for personal contact
                                  and direct sales




• All products sold out
• Thanks to innovativeness of
  products
• > Rs 1 mn of new orders
Product development and
              innovation
            How is your product unique?

                             •   Market testing

                    •   Product development

             •   Food lab analysis analysis

                    •   Bar Code registration

                         •Brand   development

                 •Coming   soon: Products in
                              Super markets
• Initiation of duck farms
• Corporate Social
  Responsibility support for
  egg incubation
• Value added: Samoussas
  “bourguignon de canard “ ,
• Frozen dishes ready to eat:
  “Canard a la vanille, Canard
  a l’orange”
Where there is a WILL,

      there is a WAY.



 BE CONFIDENT AND DARE…

                          Thank you
                          Aline Wong

				
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