• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Introduction
 Background
 The lives of poor women in Port...
 Open for business
 Services the program offers and...
 Information, management services...
 Women's businesses
 Special problems of women's...
 Project cost and the future
 Lessons learned
 Back Cover














Group Title: Seeds
Title: The Port Sudan small scale enterprise program
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00088782/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Port Sudan small scale enterprise program
Series Title: Seeds
Physical Description: 20 p. : ill. ; 26 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Hall, Eve
Publisher: SEEDS
Place of Publication: New York N.Y
Publication Date: c1988
 Subjects
Subject: Economic development projects -- Sudan   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Sudan
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: story by Eve Hall.
General Note: Caption title.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00088782
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 20118412

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Introduction
        Page 1
    Background
        Page 2
    The lives of poor women in Port Sudan and Setting up a program
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
    Open for business
        Page 6
    Services the program offers and how the program operates
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Information, management services and supplies
        Page 9
    Women's businesses
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
    Special problems of women's businesses
        Page 17
    Project cost and the future
        Page 18
    Lessons learned
        Page 19
        Page 20
    Back Cover
        Page 21
        Page 22
Full Text










SEEDS is a pamphlet series developed to meet requests from all over the world
for information about innovative and practical program ideas developed by and for
low income women. The pamphlets are designed as a means to share information
and spark new projects based on the positive experiences of women who are
working to help themselves and other women improve their economic status. The
projects described in this and other issues of SEEDS have been selected because
they provide women with a cash income, involve women in decision-making as
well as earning, are based on sound economic criteria, and are working successfully
to overcome obstacles commonly encountered. The reports are not meant to be
prescriptive, since every development effort will face somewhat different problems
and resources. Rather, they have been written to describe the history of an idea
and its implementation in the hope that the lessons learned can be useful in a
variety of settings. They are also being written to bring to the attention of those in
decision-making positions the fact that income generating projects for and by
women are viable and have important roles to play in development.




























The Population Council provides project direction and administrative
support for SEE~E E.J;ii.,r;i p.,i;:, .: rre SEEi 'S i er.r..
Committee: .uV3'r. u buC |7r,1 T p-.pul l-j. C.j:.u....lI M3 an, r,- ..,
(Harvard Institute for International Development), Cecilia Lotse
(UNICEF), Katharine McKee (Center for Community Self-Help),
Anne Walker (International Womens Tribune Center), Mildred
= O Warner (The Ford Foundation), and Ann Leonard (Editor)
Publication of SEEDS is made possible by support of the Ford
Foundation, the Government of the Netherlands, Oxfam America,
S1 the Rockefeller Foundation, the Population Council, and UNIFEM.
No 11 1988
ISSN 073-6833 Statements made and views expressed in this publication are solely
right 1 the responsibility of the author and not of any organization providing
Copyright 1988 SEEDS support for SEEDS.












The Port Sudan

Small Scale Enterprise Program
Story by Eve Hall











Introduction

It was the presence of desperately poor refugees which first brought Euro-
Action ACORD to Port Sudan in 1980, at the request of the Sudanese Commis-
sioner for Refugees, who asked EAA to do "something in the area of income-
generating activities for spontaneously settled refugees." What resulted is The
Port Sudan Small Scale Enterprise Programme. The program is not specifically a
"refugee project," because early on it became apparent that the very poor of Port
Sudan, both refugee and Sudanese, were facing the same problems. Nor is it a
"women's project," because both women and men are poor. However, it is unusual
among development projects in that it did recognize from the start that women
would be an important target group, perhaps the most important. A large number
of the poorest families in the slums depend on women's earnings, even when
there are men in the family, and poor women, even more than poor men, find it
difficult to ask for and to get help or loans for their businesses.
EAA developed a program offering training, services and credit to poor
women and men entrepreneurs, both refugee and nonrefugee. No activities are
considered suitable only for women, and while equal consideration is given to all
businesses, a little "positive discrimination" is often exercised in favor of women
clients. From the beginning, a goal of the program has been that at least half of
the small businesses receiving help at any one time should be those run by
women.
In some important ways, therefore, this is the story of a women's project
because it shows how poor illiterate women can improve and increase even the
tiniest and most marginal of businesses if they are given the right kind of help in
the right kind of way. It also provides an example of how women are faring in a
project which sets out to make no fundamental distinction in the way self-
employed men and women are assisted.






Background
Port Sudan has been described as a
"town of recent immigrants." In it live people
of several different nationalities, many ethnic
and religious groups, and refugees from
drought and political conflict. In 1956 there
were 50,000 people living in Port Sudan; in
1986, just 30 years later, the town had around
half a million inhabitants.
There are many reasons for the sudden
and enormous growth in the town's population.
A port anywhere in the world lures the un-
employed and the poor who hope to find a
niche in its busy economic life. For many years,
Port Sudan has attracted migrant workers from
as far away as West Africa. But since 1965
disasters, natural and man-made, have turned
this trickle of immigrants into a flood. Drought,
increasing rural poverty, and the growth of
large mechanized farms have forced many
Sudanese peasants and nomads to seek a
living in the towns at the same time that
thousands of people have fled from civil strife
in Chad, Uganda, Eritrea and Ethiopia to find
refuge in the Sudan. In January 1986, there
were over a million refugees in Sudan: the
largest refugee population in any African na-
tion.


Most of the newcomers live in shantytowns,
the so-called "fourth-class residential areas"
that surround this Red Sea port and its town.
More recent arrivals have to squat illegally on
the fringes of these "official" slums, throwing
up their packing crates and sacking shelters
wherever they can find space, even on rubbish
dumps.
The majority of slum dwellers have little
to do with the formal economic life of Port
Sudan and receive few city services. Some
men work in the port, particularly in the trans-
port services attached to it, and some women
have found employment as domestic servants.
The majority, however, make a living in the "in-
formal sector" which draws its customers mainly
from the slums themselves. Petty traders,
cooked food and tea sellers, carpenters, water
carriers, tailors, mattress makers, bicycle re-
pairers, blacksmiths, and a host of other en-
trepreneurs provide many of the slum's basic
goods and services and answer a demand
created by its rapidly expanding population.
But just as the customers are poor, so are the
businesses, which are almost always tiny and
provide no more than a precarious marginal
income for their operators.


































The Lives of Poor Women
in Port Sudan


In Sudanese society few uneducated
women take jobs outside their homes, though
many rural women are active in agriculture.
But when families come to the slums, life be-
comes really hard and women often must find
some way to earn money, even if doing so
takes them outside the home. For widows,
divorced or abandoned women, Port Sudan
can be a place of last resort. There are many
families (their numbers are unknown, but
thought to be high) with no husband or father
to provide even a minimum income. It is esti-
mated that up to fifty percent of refugee
families may be headed by women whose chil-
dren and other dependents rely totally on them
for their survival. However, most of the women
slum dwellers have little or no education, few
marketable skills in comparison with men, and
are often restricted by custom and tradition as
to the kind of work that is considered "accept-
able" for women within their communities.


Setting Up a Program
Euro-Action ACORD (EAA) is a consor-
tium of twenty European and Canadian aid


agencies. EAA had already been working in
refugee farming settlements in Central and
Southern Sudan, and with various rural devel-
opment projects in other parts of Africa, when
it responded to the request from the Sudanese
Commissioner of Refugees to work in Port
Sudan. This was the first time the agency con-
sidered working with poor urban people, and
staff were determined from the start to do their
homework very thoroughly so as to understand
the economic and social forces which gov-
erned life in the slums. The project's first coor-
dinator recalls that they were, "embarking on
a totally new undertaking the organization
allowed for an unusual degree of research,
preparation and ambiguity in the process of
designing the Port Sudan Small Enterprise
Programme.
The program began with a three-month
feasibility study initiated in 1980, which con-
cluded that there were enough skills among
the refugees in Port Sudan, and enough de-
mand in local markets, to make a small-scale
enterprise development project possible.
Plans lay dormant for over a year, however,
and it was only in mid-1982 that two EAA con-
sultants, a husband and wife team of urban
specialists with a good deal of working experi-
ence in African countries, came to Port Sudan






to begin the program.
While their assignment was to design in-
come-generating activities for refugees, from
the start they felt uncomfortable with this nar-
row view of who needed help most. In the con-
text of Port Sudan, the identification of refugees
as a separate, segregated group could only
encourage actual segregation and lead to dis-
crimination. The refugee influx, they felt, was
only a part of the problem of rapid urbanization
and refugees were not always the poorest
people in Port Sudan. To assist only refugees,
they concluded, could be counter-productive,
so the focus of the program was broadened
to include the poorest sections of the popula-
tion, refugees and non-refugees alike.
With funds guaranteed or promised by
several donors, the program actually got under-
way in mid-1982. The initial research was taken
very seriously and a determined "hard-nosed"
business approach became the guiding princi-
ple: assistance would be given to those who
needed it most, but only for activities which
made sound economic sense. The general aim
of the program would be to assist the develop-
ment of enterprises in the slum areas (known
locally as diems) by:
Stabilizing existing businesses by
putting them on a more secure financial
footing;
Helping people wanting to start new
businesses; and
Developing and improving the range
of goods and services offered in the
diems.
The first step was to recruit a team of
local personnel to gather the necessary back-
ground information, to help design the program
based on this information, and subsequently
to implement all activities after a thorough train-
ing period. By December 1982, twenty-five
staff members had been recruited through ad-
vertisements and word-of-mouth. Initially, EAA
stipulated that applicants should be university
graduates with working experience in one of
the social sciences and a knowledge of the
English, Arabic and Sudanese languages, but
there were few people with these high-level
skills. Therefore it was decided that it might in
fact be better for the development of the pro-
gram if men and women of different back-
grounds, ages and levels of education and
experience were included. The new recruits


(initially eight women and seventeen men)
were a varied group: Sudanese (from Port
Sudan and other parts of the country) and re-
fugees, Moslems and Christians, university
graduates and secondary school leavers. For
some, this was their first job; others had years
of experience as teachers or social workers.
Between them, the staff represented many of
the ethnic, religious and national groups, and
spoke all major languages of the people of the
slums.

Under the direction of the two EAA con-
sultants, the new staff immediately began work
on a four-month, socioeconomic survey of six
of the poorest diems where many refugees,
mainly from Eritrea and Tigre, had settled and
where approximately 63,000 families make
their homes. This wide-ranging survey primar-
ily sought to understand the economic life of
the diems. Staff gathered information on what
services were available to the inhabitants,
where different communities tended to congre-
gate, who belonged to the most vulnerable
groups, average levels of income, what kinds
of businesses were carried out and by whom,
and what technologies were being used.
Women staff also set out specifically to assess
the employment patterns and opportunities for
women. They interviewed 420 women, includ-
ing domestic servants, wage laborers em-
ployed in large local industries, self-employed
women and even prostitutes in order to get an
understanding of their particular social and
economic situations.
Following the survey, a census of more
than 5,000 businesses (266 of them run by
women) was carried out. Fifty-six occupational
categories were identified and studied. From
these findings the staff obtained a fairly com-
prehensive understanding of the basic working
of the informal sector in the diems, which ena-
bled them to identify what kind of help would
be most useful and how it could best be given.
Halfway through the survey period, for-
mal staff training in small-scale business devel-
opment and management began. This training,
which lasted for nine months, was interspersed
by field assignments visiting small businesses
run by people of the diems to become ac-
quainted with their operations, supply chan-
nels for raw materials and market outlets. Staff
members then shared their findings at semi-
nars and reporting sessions which were an
important element of the training.






EAA consultants ran the training ses-
sions, using mainly their own teaching mater-
ials developed during their years of working
experience. They also used curriculum of an
expert in small enterprise development. Case
studies of small businesses in many different
countries were studied intensively and role
playing was used as an important part of the
training. Also included was the teaching of
basic methods of accounting and business
analysis.
The goals of the training were threefold:
1. To familiarize staff with specific
techniques and procedures, such as the
analysis of a business' profit and loss account,
the interviewing of clients, and the type of infor-
mation needed to determine what assistance
would be most useful in each individual case;
2. To sensitize the staff to the needs and
problems of small businesses and their owners
and, most importantly, how to respond to the
needs of different communities (refugees and
Sudanese, Moslems and Christians, men and
women) and help overcome the prejudices
and problems that can arise from such a diver-
sity of cultures and backgrounds; and
3. To develop a team spirit among the
staff members who themselves come from
many different communities and backgrounds.


During this period all the trainees were
ranked at the same level and received the
same salary. Later, when the program began
to work directly with clients, five trainees (in-
cluding one woman) were appointed to serve
as team leaders and were assigned to head
five sub-offices to be opened in the diems. The
other trainees were appointed as either consul-
tants or assistants, according to their qualifica-
tions and experience, with different salary
levels appropriate to each category.
As the training and research progressed,
some of the donors became impatient at the
length of time the program was taking to be-
come operational,but EAA stuck to its belief in
the need to do things slowly and carefully. The
elaborate, field-oriented training not only gave
the staff a sound knowledge about and confi-
dence in their work; it brought them, early in
their training, into direct contact with the
people of the diems. They gradually became
known and accepted in the slum communities
so that information became progressively
easier to obtain. When the program was actu-
ally ready to begin its work in January 1984,
EAA staff were already familiar faces to many
of the diems' inhabitants and the staff, in turn,
had become well acquainted with the daily
pattern of social and economic life in these


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communities.
Towards the end of the training period,
the final project strategy was drafted, with di-
rect input from all staff members. All details
were thoroughly discussed so that everyone
would fully understand not only the method of
operation, but also the underlying concepts.
It was in this way that the aims of the program,
the kinds of services it would offer, who would
qualify for assistance, and how it would be
structured, were finally determined.




Open For Business
In January 1984, the program opened
sub-offices in five of the six diems that had
been studied by the staff: Salalab, Dar es
Salaam, El Nour, Korea and Dar el Naeim.
(The sixth diem was dropped from the pro-
gram as it was upgraded to a "third class resi-
dential area" by the town authorities, and
plans were underway to improve official ser-
vices and facilities.) The first step in im-
plementation was to advertise the program's
services and invite applicants to come in and
register for assistance. Advertising to reach
men was done mainly in tea shops and other
6


popular public meeting places. To reach po-
tential women clients, staff worked mainly
with local grassroots representatives of the
Sudan Women's Union (which was attached
to the then ruling party) and with the diem's
midwives.
The first months were to a large extent a
trial period for both the program and diem res-
idents. Initially staff responded to every re-
quest for aid. They discussed each request,
and the business involved, at length during
the seminars that rounded off their training
sessions. Meanwhile, residents too were test-
ing the program to see what this offer of as-
sistance had to give them. The response was
enthusiastic and initial registration brisk, as
staff did not yet have the experience neces-
sary for that first quick assessment which
identifies the obviously unsuitable request.
Every application was painstakingly investi-
gated.
The program applies stringent criteria
for assistance. An applicant must fulfill four
basic criteria. He or she must:
Be from among the "poorest of the
poor." This is defined as a family whose
household head has a monthly income
of less than S 80 or approximately U.S.
$25 (U.S. $1.00 = ES 3.30 in 1986);
Be largely or totally responsible for
the upkeep of the family;
Have been resident in Port Sudan for
at least two years (this is to ensure that
the applicant is familiar with his or her
surroundings and the basic lines of sup-
ply and demand of a business); and
Accept the program's conditions and
fees, and provide all information staff
need to establish the economic situation
of the household and the business.
Almost two-thirds of the initial applicants
were women. This, says an EAA staff member
closely involved with the program, was proba-
bly because the women were desperate, "so
many wanted help even if it was obvious they
couldn't qualify." Therefore it wasn't surprising
that less than half these women applicants
were found to meet the program's criteria for
assistance. Only 13 percent of those who ini-
tially came forward were refugees, not only
because EAA stipulated a minimum of two
year's residence in Port Sudan as a qualifica-
tion but also, staff believe, because "refugees






have less confidence in offers of assistance
and don't believe they will be included."
Nevertheless, when the first loan was made,
in June 1984, it was "quite by chance" to an
Eritrean woman refugee who used her loan to
buy handicraft material. By the end of De-
cember 1985, the program had assisted a total
of 851 businesses, 40 percent of them owned
by refugees; 534 were operated by men and
317 by women. Only 72 of these clients failed
to repay their loans, and only six of these "failed
clients" were women. (These figures are com-
parable to other credit programs for women-
see SEEDS issue No. 3 & 6-which clearly
demonstrate that women do repay loans, and
that they do so to a greater extent than men.)
The program also helped 142 women who had
formed small groups in order to buy specially
procured flour during a drought period.






Services The Program Offers
There is no limit set as to the size of
loans for business development, but each
has a maximum repayment period. The
amount loaned, therefore, is determined both
by the needs of the business and the capac-
ity of the borrower to repay within a given
period. The guiding principle is that many
small loans are generally a more effective way
to help marginal entrepreneurs in the informal
sector than a few large ones. Four different
kinds of credit are offered through the pro-
gram:
Hire-Purchase Loans. Loans of this
type are for tools and equipment, and/or to
build business premises. This enables a busi-
ness to cut costs and increase returns by pro-
viding tools or space that were previously
leased or borrowed, and thus increase pro-
ductivity. The repayment period depends on
the size of the loan, but the maximum is
twenty months.
Short-term Loans for Working Capital.
This type of credit enables a business person
to buy raw materials in bulk and therefore
more cheaply; (e.g., flour for women who
make and sell local pancakes, or wood for
carpenters). The size of the loan, which must
be repaid within two months, depends on the
business' turnover.


Micro-loans. These very small loans,
often as little as the equivalent of U.S. $50,
provide working capital. They are given to
groups of two to four entrepreneurs who get
together to buy stocks for their very small
businesses. These loans were originally de-
signed to meet the needs of women market
vendors, but men too have found them useful.
Micro-loans must be repaid within one month.
Home Improvement Loans. These
loans are given to individuals to purchase
building materials to improve or extend their
houses, to build latrines, or to lay water pipes.
The maximum loan is approximately S 1200
(U.S. $364). (The current value of a typical
wooden house in the diems.) These loans
must be repaid within twenty months.
No interest is charged on any of these
loans, but clients must pay an initial registra-
tion fee of S 2 (U.S. $.62) and small fixed ad-
ministration charges: high-purchase borrow-
ers pay one percent of the value of the loan
per month; those with short-term or home im-
provement loans pay two percent; and
groups who receive micro-credit pay one per-
cent per week. The charges to the clients go
to offset administrative costs and losses incur-
red from defaulted loans.




How The Program Operates
The program has a main office in the
town with a small administrative staff headed
by the current Coordinator, the only expatriate
member of the staff, and a Sudanese Deputy
Coordinator. Each of the five sub-offices in the
diems has four staff members, known as "con-
sultants,"-two women and two men-one of
whom is the group leader. (The sub-office in
Diem el Nour is the only one headed by a
woman.)
The sub-offices are simple buildings in
the middle of each diem and almost indistin-
guishable from the surrounding houses ex-
cept for a modest sign board. At least one
staff member remains in the office to see po-
tential clients throughout the working day. It is
usually men, however, who come into the
sub-offices regularly, or who take the first step
in seeking out assistance. Women find it dif-
ficult to come to such a public place, particu-
larly to make an initial request for help.






To overcome this problem, staff often
make "cold calls"-unsolicited home visits to
women they have heard about or noticed at
work, and who they believe might welcome
assistance. This method of contact is an im-
portant part of the program's aim to reach
women entrepreneurs who otherwise would
never consider asking for help. This outreach
method is sometimes used with men as well.
"After all," says the Coordinator, "the Prog-
ramme is not all that well known, and the
diems are very large and densely populated."
If requests do come directly from women,
they are usually made through a third person,
either a woman who is already being assisted
or a male relative who comes to the sub-office
on her behalf.
Once initial contact has been made,
and the criteria and conditions carefully
explained, the next step is registration, for
which the applicant pays S 2. The fee is con-
sidered to be an important statement of the
program's philosophy to the prospective
client: that this is a business proposition, not
charity. The program strongly believes that
services which must be paid for (no matter
how small the fee) are more valued than those
provided free.


Registration is followed by a home visit,
during which a staff member establishes the
applicant's family circumstances to ensure
that she or he meets the program's criteria for
assistance. A second visit is then made, this
time preferably to the place of business, to
conduct a thorough business analysis. Here
the client and the staff person discuss the cur-
rent state of the business, its costs and aver-
age income, and its operating methods, so as
to discover major problems and identify the
most appropriate help that can be given. An
important part of this assessment is to judge
whether the business is sound enough to sup-
port loan repayments after household expen-
ditures have been taken into account.
Applicants sometimes drop out at this
stage, perhaps because they are unwilling to
disclose what they regard as personal infor-
mation. Roqhia Hamza Osman, a staff
member in Diem Dar el Naeim, recalls how a
woman who applied for a loan literally told her
to "mind her own business" when asked for
details of her income and household expendi-
ture. "Either you give me the money or you
don't, but don't interfere," the woman said an-
grily-and negotiations ended right there. In
other cases, staff find that applicants don't


OFI~
*: IOIL "'A






meet the program's criteria, that the busines-
ses they are operating or planning are not via-
ble, or that the enterprise is unsuitable for the
type of assistance the program can offer.
Once these visits are successfully con-
cluded, and the type of assistance decided
upon, a "case book" is prepared, which re-
cords all the information collected on the
client's background, a detailed analysis of the
costings and current profit and loss accounts,
and the kind of help proposed. The "case" is
then discussed with other members of the
sub-office staff and, if they give their ap-
proval, the book is sent to the main office for
final approval by the program coordinator.
If the case is a difficult one, it is dis-
cussed at the weekly staff meetings of group
leaders and the coordinators held at the main
office. Requests for large loans, or for types
of assistance which have no precedent, also
must be discussed and decided upon at
these group meetings. Ultimately, the Coor-
dinator has the final say, but almost all deci-
sions are reached through general consensus
at group leaders' meetings.
A contract, with the photograph of the
client attached, is then signed by EAA, the
client, and a third person he or she has
brought as a guarantor. Guarantors can be
men or women and may simply be a friend or
neighbor, someone outside the family who is
prepared to sign and assume responsibility
for repayment should the client be unable to
pay. Experience has shown that women do
not have more difficulties than men in finding
a guarantor. Micro-loans to groups of three
people or more do not need a guarantor. If
the loan is for more than S 1,000, the con-
tract must be signed in front of EAAs legal ad-
visor. Formalities completed, the cash is sec-
ured by a staff member from the main office
and he or she then accompanies the client to
purchase the equipment or other materials for
which the loan has been given. The staff
member keeps the receipts and gives the
client an invoice for the amount of the loan.
"This looks like a tedious process," says a
former Coordinator, "but at present it seldom
takes more than a week to be completed."
During discussions, the staff and the
client will have agreed on the time period over
which the loan is to be repaid. Throughout the
repayment period, a staff member visits the
client regularly to monitor the progress of the


business and to give advice whenever neces-
sary. The client is expected to bring the loan
installments and small regular fees charged
by the program to the local sub-office, but this
requirement is often waived for women clients:
staff generally go to their homes, at suitable
after-business hours, so that the women who
also have household and childcare respon-
sibilities do not need to make this time-consum-
ing and, for some, unwelcome public visit.
If for some obviously legitimate reason a
client finds it difficult to make payments be-
cause of illness, family problems or other un-
avoidable demands on a client's resources, an
extension of the repayment period can be
granted, or (in exceptional circumstances) the
timetable can be rescheduled so that the re-
payments are smaller and made over a longer
period of time.




Information, Management Services
and Supplies
Business Premises and Market Shelters
Many of the small businesses in the
diems operate in the open as their owners
cannot afford to build or rent premises. In two
diems, the program has built wooden work-
shops and communal market shelters which
can be rented for a very reasonable fee, on a
monthly or even a daily basis (as in the case
of women vendors whose businesses are
very small and often intermittent). Monthly
rents are from S 1.50 to S 2.50 for a square
meter, while daily charges are S .30. The
program has, for example, built welding work-
shops, butchers' stalls, radio repair shops,
etc., and communal stalls in specially con-
structed market areas for women petty retailers
of goods such as spices and pancakes. More
recently it has completed "women's centers"
which are attached to each of the program's
sub-offices in the diems. These centers can
provide rental facilities for skills-training
businesses, such as tailoring classes.
Management Consultancy
Advice is offered in areas of business
management, such as costing, financial
analysis, marketing, etc. The small fees which
are charged for this service depend on the
business' income before assistance is given.
Rates vary from S 1.00 to S 5.00 per month.








,L'4


Generally, this service goes hand-in-hand
with other types of assistance, but it is always
optional; some may not need it because they
are already well versed in the running of their
business. The consultant may advise the
client that he or she would benefit from this
service, but clients are not required to accept
assistance as a condition for receiving a loan.

Marketing
The program sometimes acts as an
agent to secure purchase orders for large
quantities of a product which a single busi-
ness could not possibly fulfill. The order is
then divided among many small businesses.
For example, large orders have come from
Oxfam, UNHCR and UNICEF for women's and
children's clothes (divided among women
tailors), aluminum cooking pots, wooden pal-
lets for grain storage, and even for painted
sign boards.
Raw Material Supplies
Although not a very frequent form of as-
sistance, the program has on occasion pro-
cured bulk quantities of raw materials for
businesses when these supplies have sud-
denly become scarce: flour for women pan-
cake makers, for example, during the 1984-85
drought, or special wood for local bed makers.


These raw materials are not imported, but are
procured from other parts of the country.



Women's Businesses
Businesses operated by women tend to
be small and almost all production is home-
based. Of the 47 different types of businesses
that have been or are being assisted by the
program, women are active in thirteen:
Tailoring, catering, cake-baking, sweet
making, ice cream making, hairdress-
ing, laundry, soft drink selling, henna
decoration, spaghetti and macaroni
making, shira (handicraft) production,
needlework, knitting.
In all, 673 women's businesses, out of a
total of 1678 businesses, were assisted be-
tween June 1984 and December 1985. The
most common activities were tailoring (122
businesses), and catering (111), which in-
cludes not only small restaurants but also the
making and selling of kisra (local pancakes
eaten as bread), tea and coffee, and cooked
food sold at vantage points by the roadside
(near a busy intersection, for example, or a
truck terminal).






Tailoring, which is the most popular ac-
tivity, is not necessarily the most lucrative. Its
great attraction, particularly among more con-
servative communities, is that the work can
be done at home, the most socially accept-
able place for women to work, and it can be
done in hours snatched between household
chores and child care. The largest loans re-
quested by women are usually to buy sewing
machines. While no woman tailor has yet de-
faulted on her repayments, staff say this does
not necessarily mean that a woman tailor's
business is thriving: prompt repayments can
often mean that she is borrowing money from
relatives to repay EAA, rather than meeting
the installments from her earnings.
Not only do women tailors compete with
men in the same trade, they also are hampered
by the fact that it is not as easy for them to
operate from public workplaces or to go out-
side the home to sell their products. Rather
they must either wait for customers (generally
their neighbors) to come to them with orders,
or depend on a male relative to sell their ready-
made garments outside. EAA staff try to help
solve these problems by suggesting such
things as advertising to attract more customers
or alternative market outlets for the male
"agents." Too often, however, a woman's tailor-
ing business operates irregularly and margi-
nally and lapses into little more than an income-
saving activity by which she can make her fam-
ily's clothes more cheaply.




Rakia Ebrahim Tailor
Rakia Ebrahim is a forty-year old Sudanese
woman, divorced, who has lived in Diem Korea
for 14 years. Since 1970 she has tried to support
her family of six, including her old mother and
father, by tailoring, supplementing this for the
past ten years by selling cooked food to children
on their way to school each morning.
In 1983 a family crisis forced her to sell her
sewing machine. She later heard of the EAA
program from the Sudan Woman's Union and,
in November 1984, she received a loan of S
375.00 to buy another machine. Originally, she
was due to repay this loan in ten monthly install-
ments, but this proved difficult so the amount of
the repayments has been reduced and the time
period extended for another six months.


Rakia Ebrahim works from her home, has
about ten regular customers, and earns a net
monthly income of S 43 for a 20-hour working
week. In itself this is a tiny weekly income, but
not unjust, considering her working hours. If her
work time could be increased, so could her in-
come. On the advice of EAA staff, Radia Ebrahim
has recently bought some cloth to make gar-
ments which she is hoping to sell through her
eldest son, who will hawk them in the local mar-
kets.



Some businesses which at first glance
may seem to hold little prospect for a steady
income, can prove to be rewarding. The de-
corating of brides with henna designs is a rare
and valued skill, and once a woman has estab-
lished her reputation as a talented artist, she
can expect quite substantial payments for a
single assignment.






Ekhlas Soliman Henna Decorator
Ekhlas Soliman is a single woman in her
early twenties who has lived in Diem Dar el
Naeim all her life. She lives with her divorced
mother (who sells kisra for a living and also has
been an EAA client), her old grandmother and
nine younger brothers and sisters, in a small
wooden house. It is in this crowded environment
that she practiced the art of henna decorating
for three years. In August 1984, she requested
a loan of S 436 to build a small separate shelter
in the family compound to which her customers
could come, "so that I could work in peace,
away from the family." She has already made 16
of her 20 monthly installments.
Ekhlas Soliman is self-taught. "I wanted to
do this work, and I thought I would be good at
it. Most other decorators get their designs from
books, but I like to make up my own patterns."
She has built up a good reputation and a steady
clientele. She receives on average three to four
orders for bridal decorations every month, when
she spends several hours painting elaborate pat-
terns on the bride's hands and feet. For this her
fee is S 50, but she admits that she tailors the
price to what the customer can afford, and often
charges less. She can, however, sometimes re-
coup on this loss as customers who are better
off will quite frequently "top off" the fee to show


their appreciation if they are pleased with her
work. She also earns money from customers
who want only their hands decorated for other
special occasions, or perhaps "just for beauty."
For this she charges S 15.
Apart from her loan repayments, her major
expense is for materials, particularly the costly
dyes which are imported from Egypt. Her aver-
age monthly income has been a quite respect-
able S 150, but she is a little pessimistic about
the future. Another woman henna decorator has
moved into the area and is drawing customers
away: last month only two brides came to her.
Ekhlas Soliman understands her marketplace
well: "People don't necessarily choose the best
decorator. They tend to go the nearest one."




Perfume making, a local skill, can lead
to brisk sales, particularly if a woman can sell
her products in a central marketplace. Perhaps
the most inhibiting factor for any of these
businesses is competition: as Ekhlas Soliman
has learned, supply can easily outstrip de-
mand.
While most women would prefer not to
work in public, financial pressure often neces-
sitates such activity. Catering, in all its forms,


































can be relatively lucrative and many women
have taken up this work. The acceptability of
this trade depends to a great extent on the
social status, ethnic background and age of
the woman, as well as whether she is the head
of household.
Success in catering depends on sound
cost analysis and price setting, but the most
important factors are location and hours of bus-
iness. A woman selling cooked food or tea, for
example, can develop a good, regular clientele
among men workers who eat breakfast or
lunch away from home. Kisra makers too find
a ready market because restaurant owners,
housewives and working women often buy
their pancakes ready-made. And while there
are peak selling hours in the day, the demand
for tea and coffee is constant.
Since the profit margins for such catering
businesses are small, the amount of income
depends on the daily turnover, which can be
quite substantial. The working hours needed
to make these businesses profitable, however,
can be extremely demanding and difficult for
a woman with household responsibilities. To
catch the lucrative breakfast trade, for exam-
ple, caterers must have prepared their food or
beverages and be at their selling point as early
as 5:30 a.m. Often they must return home again


to prepare food or drink for their lunch time
customers. In addition, they must buy fresh
food every day, so it is not surprising that
women with children and other family duties
find it difficult to carry out their businesses with-
out interruption-and these interruptions mean
not only less income, but a loss of regular cus-
tomers to other caterers.



Aziza Ismael-Cooked Food Seller
Aziza Ismael is a thirty-year old Eritrean
refugee, divorced and the sole breadwinner for
herself, her mother and her three brothers who
are all under 10 years of age. She sells cooked
food in a rented, make-shift shelter at "Kilo 8,"
a large flat wasteland beyond the diems where
the scores of transport trucks which serve the
port park while they wait for business. All kinds
of allied services have sprung up in this area,
such as mechanics, welders, tire repairers, etc.,
and quite a few are among EAA's clients.
The men employed in transport services
generally live in Port Sudan without their families
and buy their food ready-cooked. They come
from a variety of backgrounds and each seeks
out the kind of food he is used to at home. Aziza
Ismael serves Eritrean food and she is well







known to her countrymen at Kilo 8. She has
been there for more than three years, many
mornings by 5:30, to sell them Eritrean pan-
cakes, tea and meat and vegetable stews
throughout the day.
She first came to the Sudan in 1975 and
moved to Port Sudan three years later. Shortly
after her arrival, her husband divorced her "be-
cause my children always died very young."
Since then, he has given her no help. To support
herself and her family, she began to make
cooked food at home to sell at Kilo 8, borrowing
the necessary equipment from relatives. Her
health was poor in those early years and she
could only work intermittently. But gradually her
health improved and so did her business-until
her relatives took back the equipment they had
lent her.
Aziza Ismael learned of the EAA program
through a woman friend who was already a
client. She applied for a hire-purchase loan to
replace her equipment. EAA quickly approved
the request. Her case book note that: "She
needs to work to support her family. She already
knows how to get supplies and knows Kilo 8
very well." There is much competition at Kilo 8,
but caterers who build up a regular clientele can
do quite well. In October 1985, she was given
a loan of S 300.00 to buy equipment, to be


paid back over 15 months; and a short-term loan
of S 75.00 to buy a stock of sugar wholesale,
to be repaid over two months.



Although women loan takers are usually
illiterate, they have their own ways of keeping
track of costs and income which, while not
totally accurate, are reliable enough to use as
a base for the initial assessment of a business'
viability and potential which the client and the
staff member examine together. A business is
judged to be viable if, when all the costs are
taken into account, it has the potential to make
a genuine profit. Lack of working capital is the
most common problem facing women. On av-
erage, businesses run by men operate with
three times the capital of those run by women.
This often means that women cannot buy raw
materials in bulk, and therefore more cheaply,
thus adding to operating costs and lowering
profit margins.
Once a loan is approved, the borrower
is assisted in making her calculations more
accurate and in working out a detailed cost
and profit account. It is usually at this stage
that the woman is first introduced to the con-
cept of counting her own labor as a cost-that






she must pay herself a fixed wage and that
this wage must never be regarded as "profit."
The concept of costing her working time is
always difficult for a woman to understand, be-
cause so much of her other daily work is un-
paid. She therefore tends to consider all in-
come as profit. As a female staff member
notes: "We try to help the client understand,
you are different from your business. The wage
you pay yourself must come out of business
expenses because you are spending your time.


For example, in reviewing Aziza Ismael's
business procedures, it was found that she
was not setting her prices according to her
costs, but simply charging the same as cater-
ers nearby. A full analysis was worked out to
determine more accurately how much she
should charge for different types of dishes,
how much she should pay herself as a monthly
wage, and what her profit margin might be.
These were the calculations:


Monthly Expenses:
Rent S 60
Transport (to & from Kilo 8) S 8
Water, charcoal, kerosene S 15
Loan repayment S 29.82
Administrative charge (1%) S 2.98
Consultancy fee S 2
S 117.80
Monthly Wage:
This is an additional monthly expense. Aziza Ismael works eight
hours a day, six days a week. Labor costs are figured at S .70,
the amount currently judged to be the wage earned for this kind of
work by an employee. This cost, therefore, comes to a monthly total
of S 145.60.
Expenditures on Raw Materials:
Vegetables, oil, meat, beans, sugar, tea, etc. These costs were
worked out on the average number of meals prepared and sold
over a one-month period. Total per month: S 1,279.50
Monthly Sales:
Meals of meat (866 ( S 1.50 each) S 1.300
Meals of vegetables (200 (- S 1.00 each) S 200
Tea(1,213 glasses S0.15 perglass) S 182
TOTAL S 1,682
TO SUM UP:
Total revenue from sales S 1,682
All expenses(including wages) S 1,542
Net profit (estimated) S 139






Thus Aziza Ismale's net income, includ-
ing her wages and estimated profit, was calcu-
lated to be approximately S 284.60 per
month. Of this income, the wage is a fixed
amount: the profit will obviously change each
month, depending on sales. Cash from the
profits can be used to reinvest in wholesale
purchases, replacement of equipment, etc.
With the injection of a little capital (to buy tea
wholesale) and with her own equipment, Aziza
Ismael has, potentially, a business which can
earn enough to support her and her family.
The distinction between wages and profit
is vital to understanding what income the bus-
iness is actually earning. Some women grasp
this new concept quite quickly once it is
explained to them and they then become ac-
customed to an analytical approach to the bus-
iness' finances. Others, however, reject out-
right what seems to them to be an artificial
division. "They say 'no, the business is not
separate from me, and whatever I earn is mine
to use as I like.' So they end up using working
capital for household expenditures and don't
realize that this is why their business doesn't
work properly."
Women caterers and vendors, particu-
larly, keep daily accounts, so EAA staff assist
them with their monthly accounts, recording
the costs, income and profit. Staff generally
go to the women's homes to do this, rather
than to their places of business, as it isn't very
practical to conduct what amounts to a training
session in accounting while squatting by the
roadside, where so many of the women's
businesses are located.
Frequently staff will visit their clients more
often than once a month if some aspect of the
business requires special attention. "If we
notice that the price of a basic commodity has
gone up," says one staff member, "we visit the
client to see how she is adjusting her business
to this. For example, a woman client might have
received a loan when meat cost S 6 a kilo.
Now the meat has gone up by about 20 per-
cent. We can advise the client either to put
additional capital, to reduce production, or to
increase her prices. In the case of most cater-
ers, we would advise them to increase the cost
of the dish-though we have to keep an eye
open for what others are charging, so that our
clients will still be competitive."


Amlasa Mokenen-Kisra Seller
Amlasa Mokenen is a refugee from Eritrea,
a 55-year old woman who has been in Port
Sudan for 20 years. During all this time she has
struggled to support a family of eight depen-
dents by making and selling kisra in Diem Korea.
Although she already had quite a brisk business
turnover, she never had enough capital to buy
her flour in bulk. This meant not only that her
basic raw material was unnecessarily expen-
sive, it also resulted in a very low profit margin.
In addition, it added to her transport costs as
she frequently had to make special journeys to
buy flour. In September 1985, she received a
loan of S 300 to buy 270 kgs. of flour. This she
repaid in three months, although the installments
were high (including administrative charges S
105 per month).
Since receiving the loan, she sells approx-
imately 2600 pieces of kisra a month (at S .25
each), a considerable increase over previous
sales. Her monthly income is now approximately
S 220, even considering that some of the flour
bought for the business is occasionally used for
home consumption.
The loan has helped her to increase pro-
duction and she has a good repayment record.
However, the question now is, how will she be
able to keep up her high level of production
once she has used up the flour bought with the
loan? She is being urged to set aside money to
buy another bag of wholesale flour and not to
use any of the flour to feed her family. But with
so many dependents and high household ex-
penses, she may not be able to follow this ad-
vice.





Regular personal contact between
clients and EAA staff builds up a mutual trust
and encourages an open friendly relationship
in which advice is readily accepted. The staff
member is often treated as a family friend. As
the former project Coordinator describes it:
"The modest but unfailing hospitality of the
clients is matched by their relaxed and enter-
taining reception at the sub-offices." Which is
another way of saying that the tea flows during
visits and there is much joking and laughter in
between the serious analysis of business per-
formance and the handing over of monthly in-
stallments. It is rewarding for EAA staff to see

































that, despite the problems these small entre-
preneurs face and their often exhausting work
loads, their women clients generally possess
an enviable zest and an enthusiastic approach
towards their businesses.



Fatima Osman-Tea Seller
Fatima Osman is 25 years old, divorced,
with no children. Although she was born in Port
Sudan, her parents were refugees who came
from Eritrea in the early 1960s. Her mother is
also divorced, and neither her father nor her
ex-husband contribute towards the family's up-
keep. Fatima Osman has supported herself, her
mother and a younger brother and sister by sel-
ling tea in a rented kiosk in Diem el Nour's central
market since 1984.
In 1985 she asked EAA for a loan of S
120 for additional equipment to expand her bus-
iness (she had heard of the program from a
friend). She repaid this loan promptly over five
months. She then received a short-term loan to
buy a sack of sugar wholesale, which she repaid
within a month.
As she is not currently a loan holder, she
is considered a "closed" client ("active" clients
are those who have not yet repaid all loan install-


ments) but staff members still drop by her kiosk
to buy a glass of tea during their busy round of
visits to clients in the vicinity. Fatima Osman's
stall is always crowded and it is clearly one of
the favorite meeting places for the market's men
workers. She sells approximately 300 glasses
of tea (at S .15 each) daily, and works nine
hours a day, every day of the week: from 6:00-
10:00 a.m., then again from noon until 5:00 p.m.
Her net monthly income is approximately S 200.




Special Problems of Women's
Businesses
The women clients profiled above are
fairly typical of business women in the diems.
Singly and collectively, they demonstrate sev-
eral of the common problems which prevent
these businesses from providing a better in-
come to their operators: lack of adequate cap-
ital or equipment; poor management skills;
lack of regular business hours; competition;
an inability to market products outside the
home; and heavy family responsibilities which
frequently force women to use business capital
to meet immediate needs.
Most staff feel that at least some of these
problems could be overcome if women were
encouraged to give higher priority to their
businesses. "Women often don't succeed in
business because, even when they are the
main breadwinners, they are not as tough as
men in resisting pressures that limit their bus-
iness production. We should help women find
ways of coping with this problem," says the
Coordinator. But as a female staff member
notes: "You can't compare women's heavy fam-
ily responsibilities with those of a single man.
Women have to do everything, and sometimes
they fail. We try to help women work out a way
to divide their time, but many can't make fixed
hours if they have children." She also feels
strongly that women have a higher commit-
ment to the family, and this pushes them into
using business capital for daily needs. "It's well
known that almost all women's income go back
into the family, much more than men's. Women
don't go to the cinema or buy cigarettes." It is
women, not men, she stresses,"who must every-
day find the food to feed the children."
Saadiya Mahmood Aman, the female
group leader of the Diem el Nour sub-office,






largely agrees with this view and believes that
the program must find new ways of helping
women. "We give the same help to women as
we give to men. But it's not only capital that
women need. They also need training and
much advice. We must introduce new kinds of
businesses for women. There are so many
women who need training in a skill, not only
equipment." This is an important point that
must be underscored. For example, she is
doing all she can to encourage the tailoring
teacher who rents a room in the sub-office's
women's center to give classes to young
women for a small fee. The teacher has re-
ceived a loan to buy a sewing machine for
these classes. She would also like the program
to buy the finished products from the trainees
for a small sales exhibition in the nearby market
in order to encourage them to continue their
training and help them get started in business.
In this she is supported by her colleague
Haw Hamid Idris, but other group leaders and
the coordinators are very reluctant. They see
this as a departure from the program's
philosophy of giving help only to businesses
which have proven potential. "The others say,
'the project is for self-reliance. If we accept
this exhibition idea, then we no longer support
self-reliance.' But we say that we would be
helping women to become employed and that
they would eventually become self-employed."

Project Cost
The total cost of the program, including
the revolving fund, from its start in 1980 to the
end of 1986, was one million British pounds
(sterling) (approximately $U.S. $1.2 million). Al-
most one-third of this sum was spent before
the program became operational and any
loans had been made (1980-1984).


A large component of the start-up costs
was staff training and research. This was
primarily due to the experimental nature of the
program. However this is considered to have
been a vital component in its successful im-
plementation and staff training remains a con-
tinuous process as more people are recruited
to meet the needs of the expanding program.
EAA staff stress that the relatively high
cost for the preparatory stage of this project
was largely unavoidable and necessary. With
hindsight, however, EAA feels that perhaps the
research sought more information than was
really needed for the program's operation. With
the experience and knowledge gained from
the planning and preparation of this program,
a similar one developed elsewhere would prob-
ably need no more than four to six months
research, instead of the 18 months used in Port
Sudan. Thus start-up and preparatory costs
would be far less.


The Future
The debate over and the search for better
ways to help women and to reach more women
clients continues. "Softer" loans for women, or
help that is not directly aimed at improving the
viability of a business are not planned. But
there is one element of positive discrimination
for women entrepreneurs already in the pro-
gram: men who request loans for catering
businesses are refused so as not to increase
competition with women in an already crowded
field. EAA has also begun to give assistance
to retailing activities by women, a departure
from their stress on credit for producers who
sell their own goods. Thus, assistance has
been given to women who sell goods pro-
duced at home by other women, and who take
a percentage of the sales as their payment.


Annual Expenditures 1980-1986
1980-1983 217,625 Preparatory Phase
1984 270,311
1985 290,900 Operational Phase*
1986 310,862
TOTAL 1,089,698**
*The program began operation in June 1984.
**Approximately U.S. $1.2 million.



























---
- ~ ~ --'


Home improvement loans are another as-
pect of the program's services which have
proved to be increasingly popular. Some EAA
staff believe that this kind of help may serve
to considerably improve the quality of women's
lives in the diems.
Within the program, women and men staff
are treated equally and receive the same basic
salary, depending on whether they are team
leaders, consultants or assistants. To this sal-
ary is added incentive payments based on the
number of clients handled by each staff
member. In practice, however, there are some
differences in the working conditions and pay
of women and men. Because women clients
frequently must be sought out and often need
more sustained advice, since their businesses
are more precarious, women staff tend to have
a heavier work load than their male counter-
parts even when they have fewer clients. And
social constraints hamper women staff too.
While men staff members are given loans to
buy motor scooters to make their rounds in the
sprawling diems, it would be considered "un-
acceptable" for women to use them. Women
staff members must take buses or walk, which
again is more time consuming. As a result,
women's incentive pay, based on numbers of
clients, is generally lower than the men's. To


redress this unwelcome and unexpected im-
balance, which only emerged as the program
developed and grew, EAA is gradually phasing
out incentive payments.
The long-term future of the program is
not yet clear. EAA sees a strong possibility for
the development of a local organization within
the program and hopes that it will eventually
be able to hand over its work to such a non-
profit organization. EAA would then remain as
a member of the board of trustees. As a first
step in that direction, the case load of team
leaders in the sub-offices has been reduced
to enable them to take on more of a managerial
role in preparation for the gradual shift in re-
sponsibility from the head office to the individ-
ual teams. But, says the Coordinator, "we have
set no time limit, we have made no definite
plans, we learn as we go along."


Lessons Learned
1. Reaching out to women where they
live and work is a very effective strategy to
increase their participation in a loan pro-
gram. Unlike so many other loan schemes (not
only in Sudan), women can take part in this
program without having to gather up their cour-






age to take the daring, often disapproved of,
step to go to a public office to ask for a loan.
Negotiations take place privately, in the
women's homes, and even the tiniest loan is
given serious consideration by sympathetic
program staff, rather than the usual impersonal
"loan committees" which often include repre-
sentatives from banks and other formal credit
institutions that would dismiss such small loans
as not worth the bother of administration. While
the needs of refugee women are much the
same as those of other low-income women (in-
come-earning opportunities that will enable
them and their families to survive) they are
often more hesitant to believe that they will be
included in offers of assistance. Thus unsol-
icited introductory visits to women's homes
have proved particularly helpful to them.
2. There is a great advantage in having
women work with women. Both unsolicited
and regular home visits are unremarkable
and unobjectionable if they are made by
women. However, all the staff work with, and
are encouraged to seek out both men and
women clients. Although only eight women
staff members were originally recruited, more
were later employed and given on-the-job train-
ing. There are now 11 women and 10 men staff
members working in the sub-offices, and EAA
is intent on keeping this balance.
3. The type of management training of-
fered must be well-suited to women's
needs. They cannot be expected to find time
to attend formal, theoretical group training ses-
sions. Instead staff visit them at home, at times
which suit these women who have both busi-
ness and household work to do every day. The
instruction they receive is related specifically
to their business, and is given in familiar sur-


roundings by someone a woman has learned
to know and trust and who speaks her own
language.
4. A program to assist women entrep-
reneurs must take into account all the
realities of their lives and not expect that
they will always be able to meet the same
performance standards as male clients for
whom, generally, business is the major
focus of their activity. Women's businesses
are under constraints that don't affect busines-
ses operated by men: because few kinds of
businesses are socially accepted as "women's
work," they struggle against greater competi-
tion, and social sanctions often stop them from
selling their goods in public places thus limit-
ing the markets available to them. Women also
have less time to devote to their businesses
because they also have time consuming daily
household and childcare responsibilities.
5. The quality or relevance of techni-
cal services will be suspect if they are given
free of charge, and so will the motives of
the service givers. Serious people, even if
their businesses are of the smallest dimension,
appreciate and honor straightforward contrac-
tual relationships.
6. Efforts to force or encourage
women's individual small businesses to
band together as a group are generally
counterproductive and impractical. Collec-
tive activities need a clearly defined objective,
such as a number of small businesses coming
together to purchase supplies at bulk cost.
Another successful approach has been for the
program to secure large contracts for goods
itself, which it divides amongst various individ-
ual clients.









Design: Ann Leonard
Typography: Village Type and Graphics
Cover Photo: Wendy Wallace
Printing: Graphic Impressions, Inc.






































We invite your comments and your ideas for projects which might
be included in future editions of SEEDS. If you would like additional
copies of this issue or would like to be included on the SEEDS
mailing list, please write to:
Ann Leonard, Editor
SEEDS
P.O. Box 3923
Grand Central Station
New York, New York 10163 U.S.A.






































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