Blog

Saha builds better businesses!

This summer, Sahayili continued to work hard to make sure our water businesses are working well. One way we have approached this was by pursuing empowerment of all of our team to have a solid baseline of financial training. If we expect our entrepreneurs in the field to know how to set a price to the water they sell and the plan for the aquatabs they buy, we have to make sure we are sending monitors who are excellent with finances!

This was one of our first experience in conducting a full-staff training “in-house”. Overall, it was enjoyable and valuable and the team felt that it was definitely worth missing one day in the field to strengthen our own skills. Our training was a mixing pot of learning about core concepts, math, design, and general professional development, facilitated by our fearless math leaders Rhiana and Kathryn. But enough of the overview– let’s get into the details of the day!

The first part of our workshop dealt with this big question of “why do we set up water businesses” and we had a great conversation where staff was able to relay a deep understanding of how finances relate to sustainability. Staff shared out that business are are important so that the women who run them can earn money and buy materials, cover the cost of the treatment process, and that by not just giving a Saha treatment center as a gift, we are actually empowering these women to have ownership of their water centers and motivating them to care for their own communities in a real and tangible way. We waded into the hard stuff and identified current challenges that our team is having, took a baseline quiz to see where we could all improve our understanding of Saha’s model, and ran example calculations of prices that we need to be able to do in the field.

For upcoming new Saha hires having a serious case of FOMO, have no fear! This session was so successful that we will continue to lay the same foundation with all new members of the Saha family.

After we thoroughly refreshed with some snacks and stretching, we did some math. We have to commend the staff members for sticking it out and doing something that was unfamiliar and rather long. They approached what could have been boring content with full excitement and were engaged the whole time. We did a “pair and share” method of doing some math calculations with a teammate because we all know there is strength in numbers and sometimes you just need to talk the problem out.

We ended the day with a really fun design challenge, addressing the question of how we improve our entrepreneur’s business skills when we meet with them to check in. We brainstormed and no ideas were off limits. We were encouraged to think about physical tools we could create, digital mockups, and acted out skits with our new ideas. We look forward to doing more exercises like these in the future!

  • Becky W.
  • Labariga Field Rep ’17, Saha Summer US Volunteer